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  • My Degree Is Black

Rekia Beverly | FAMU | '09

Welcome to the MDIB Yard Rekia Beverly!

Reppin': Florida A&M University

Grad: 2009

Major: Elementary Education

Occupation: Regional Gifted Resource Teacher

Can you briefly walk us through your HBCU story? How it started, how you got there, and how it helped you get to where you are today.

My HBCU story starts in my mother’s womb. Both my parents attended an HBCU. At the time, Bethune Cookman College now known as Bethune Cookman University. They both met there and they both wanted me to attend to obtain the total family award. I shocked them all and attended FAMU where my grandpa and uncle attended. We are a house divided. My aunts and uncles attended Bethune and I hold down the fort representing FAMU at every Florida Classic.

How did your HBCU shape you and impact your understanding of Black Culture?

Even though I grew up in an HBCU family, I attended predominately white schools in my community. My first step on FAMUs campus felt like home. To be surrounded by black excellence was reassuring. I was with the best and brightest scholars in the world. I just knew I would learn and become the teacher I am today. I can’t put my finger on it, but HBCUs have a drive like no other. I didn’t imagine myself being an entrepreneur, but here I am. A teacher, CEO, author, and book character. There’s a certain motivation that comes with being a graduate of HBCUs.

Before we go any further, let's have a brag session! Tell us about your HBCU(s). What are y'all known for? What are the most exciting things about the yard?

My HBCU is known for being the #1 HBCU in public education. Our band, The Marching 100 is known around the globe! We are recognized as the leading national public university that is internationally known for its competitive graduates in research and innovation.

What do you say to people who believe HBCUs are not as good as Predominantly White Institutions (PWI)?

I would say that information is false. We are just as competitive, articulate, and brilliant as anyone we are compared to. Seriously, talk to an HBCU graduate and prepare to be mesmerized.


Tell us what you wish everyone in the world knew about the HBCU experience.

I want people to know that they have to step foot on an HBCU campus. There’s a sense of pride, belonging, and accomplishment there. You can feel the love of our ancestors that paved the way for us. You can see me represent FAMU in my orange and green or post all of our accomplishments, but there’s something about being on The Hill that will transform your way of life.

Tell us about your most memorable HBCU experiences. (Yes we in yo business, tell us about all of 'em!)

The most memorable experience was the fraternity parties. I can’t believe they served alcohol from trash cans (LOL). Oh yeah, and the club “The Late Night Library” we promise we were studying…studying the latest dance moves! (LOL)

Was it like Hillman on "A Different World"?

Yes! From the dining halls to the step shows. This is the reason why I want everyone to step foot on an HBCU campus!

As any alumni will tell you, HBCUs are nurturing environments. What person(s) during your HBCU experience deserves some flowers and recognition?

Dr. Ansley deserves her flowers! She prepared me for graduate school. She challenged me and stretched me to be the best educator for our future generations. My classmates can attest. She taught from her heart and it translated into every lesson. She’s a true gem. It was an amazing moment reuniting with her at a graduation ceremony a few years ago.

How are you using what you learned from them in your everyday life?

FAMU is in my blood. Excellence with Caring is my motto as it is represented in our shield. There is a standard passed down from my family that instilled a love of learning. Then, FAMU took that and watered and nurtured me to blossom. The friends I met are now family thanks to God and FAMU. Joy, Vanessa, and Tiffanie encourage me to be great every day and exude the FAMU way because Rattler girls are the best in the world.

Thank you for showing us Your Yard and telling us Your Experience. Before you go, tell us, what do you imagine for the future of HBCUs?

I imagine the future of HBCUs to move forward. We are everywhere! From the stages of Broadway, Disney, Good Morning America to the Hall of Fames in tennis and football. And let’s not forget, gymnastics now! Trendsetters and trailblazers we will forever be.

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