The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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A South Carolina principal has gone the extra mile to support students at his school who are facing financial hardships. According to People, North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby has taken on a second job to raise money for teenagers whose families are struggling to make ends meet.

Data shows that North Charleston has an overall poverty rate of 20.96 percent and African Americans account for 27 percent of those living below the poverty line. The public health crisis has exacerbated financial burdens for many. During his time at the school, Darby has witnessed the ravaging effects that poverty has had on his students. There were situations where students were living in their cars, sleeping under bridges because they had no shelter and other circumstances where they struggled to pay their heat and water bills.

Determined to provide support, Darby decided to take action. He started working overnight shifts at Walmart to raise money for students in need. “I was taught if your hands find something to do, do it. So I came to myself and said, ‘Perhaps I need another job in terms of part-time,'” he told WCIV-TV. After his act of generosity went viral, several people have stepped up to support Darby’s efforts. A GoFundMe was launched for Darby’s students and has raised over $160,000 surpassing its $20,000 goal. Walmart has also stepped in to donate $50,000 to North Charleston High School. Individuals in the local community have expressed interest in launching scholarships for the students. Darby says he will continue to work his second job to support his students.

Darby’s story is one of many that exemplifies how educators often go above and beyond for the well-being of their students. Dr. Terrance Newton—the leader of Warner Elementary School in Wilmington—created a barbershop inside of the school to provide students who could not afford haircuts with free shape-ups. Akbar Cook, Principal of the Newark-based West Side High School, has launched several initiatives including a laundry program for disadvantaged families and a project called “Lights On” where the school remains open after hours as a safe haven for youth.


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