WASHINGTON — President Reagan, at a White House ceremony Thursday proclaiming National Historically Black Colleges Week, said gains in education have produced big economic gains for black Americans during the last six years.
"For decades these institutions have been giving black Americans hope--hope for a better life, hope that they would be able to play a full and active part in the life of the nation," Reagan told a group of 30 top scholars from the black schools around the country.
"You're America's best and brightest hope for the future," he told the students, who later were to receive Carnegie Corp. awards for their achievements.
Black colleges and universities have educated 50% of America's black business executives, 75% of black military officers, 80% of black judges and 85% of black doctors, he said before signing the proclamation that designates Sept. 21-27 National Historically Black Colleges Week.
Reagan said financing for black colleges increased by 19% since he became President and that opportunities for graduates have improved during the same period.