In an industry that was projected to have $1.1 billion in revenue last year and allows kids to make $3 million playing Fornite, many Historically Black Colleges and Universities are grooming the next generation of Black professional gamers.
Nearly a year ago, Johnson C. Smith University became the first HBCU to offer an undergraduate program in esports management. Since then, others, including Southern University and A&M College, Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University, Alcorn State University, Florida Memorial University and Benedict College have made their own headlines for their approach to esports.
Many are preparing students for careers in the industry, from content curation to publicity to management. Through esports, HBCUs could have access to an emerging industry which could result in direct and indirect revenue streams that would advance their educational agendas.
Marc Williams, co-founder of Saint Peter’s University’s esports and business program, has turned down nine predominantly white institutions and he’s taken his expertise to Florida Memorial University to develop similar programs. He hopes to create a curriculum that extends past STEM.
“We focused on a technology AR, VR—you know, game design,” Williams said, according to Complex. “Then, in addition to that, there’s the communications, the marketing, the production, the arts, the music to it as well. Just think, if our young Black kids get a whiff of the opportunity of knowing that they can be part of this ecosystem, we can jump at it.”
He also serves as the commissioner of the