#SaveDenmark: HBCU Denmark Technical College Faces Possible Closure


We live in a point in history where our HBCU’s constantly under attack. Sometimes the wounds that we suffer are self-inflicted but others are due to public oversight and a general lack of support from state legislators. Denmark college is the latest HBCU to enter a fight for it’s existence. Denmark College is a two-year historically black technical institution in Denmark, South Carolina. Denmark Tech opened its doors on March 1, 1948 as the Denmark Branch of the South Carolina Trade School System with the mission of educating the black citizens of the area with various trade skills. It became a part of the statewide technical college system in 1969.  The college is often not mentioned when HBCUs are discussed because of its technical college distinction. However, it’s contributions to African-Americans in the South Carolina area deserves recognition. It’s a shame the time that we recognize the contributions of this great institution is as it’s facing the threat of closure days after it’s founder’s day.

Slate reports that South Carolina lawmakers are engaged in a political fight to keep South Carolina’s only historically black technical school open. Denmark is fighting being switched to a trade school distinction, which would turn the institution into a career center for high school students and adults seeking industry certification. In 2016, the state started a program where high-school graduates a free two-year degree or certification.

The Post & Courier reports Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg) said of her goals to switch Denmark to a trade center, “I’m more concerned about keeping the educational opportunities this facility will offer available than I am about keeping somebody’s job as president or vice president and an HBCU designation.”

Although enrollment is declining for Denmark, dropping to 400 students from 2,300 a decade ago, the college is a economic checkpoint for the region. Although there are issues that need to be addressed, it seems as if some members of the South Carolina legislator want to pull the plug on Denmark before it can restructure itself.

“We deserve a fully funded technical college,” said Rep. Jerry Govan, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus to the Post & Courier. Rep. Lonnie Hosey (D-Barnwell) said to the publication, “This is the hub of the wheel in our area. We need your help. Help us with enrollment so we can survive.”

Learn more about how to save Denmark College below!

Listen to Claflin University junior Davida Kenner speak on the situation and ways that she’s using her platform to help her fellow HBCU!


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