Monday, June 30, 2014

Answer me this Question......?


Over the weekend I ran a 5K HBCU race. I have wanted to run a 5K for a long time and when I saw that it was an HBCU event I had to do it. I was very excited. And I finished! Yay!

Now clearly from the abovementioned statement, you can guess that I am a graduate of an Historically Black College/University. South Carolina State University to be exact. Not only am I a graduate of “State”… but so are my parents. That’s where they met. I have a slew of aunts, uncles and cousins who all went to State. It’s what we do. I have a cousin who is a 96 grad and her parents met at State like my parents. I do have 1 cousin who didn’t go to State… She went to Claflin! That’s a huge joke in our family… at her expense… because State and Claflin are separated only by a literal fence. State is what we do in our family.

I grew up going to private/Catholic schools. I never from K-12th grade had a Black teacher, administrator or principal. There were no Black janitors, secretaries or lunch ladies. Nothing. I went from seeing all white people to seeing all Black people. State was/is 99.7% African American. The few white instructors that were there were suing the school for racist practices, claiming they were being overlooked for promotions because they were white. Imagine how they must have felt knowing that if a student accused them of being racist towards Black people they would, no doubt, lose their jobs. How’s that for flipping the script! Who is the revolutionary now?

When I graduated form State I walked into my graduate program of choice. I didn’t have to take any special remediation classes. I received a full tuition scholarship to a majority Dental School. But if I had that to do over…. I’d go to Meharry, Howard or Norfolk, no matter the money. I detested my time at UMDNJ-NJDS. It was like being on line for 4 years and the racism wasn’t even hidden. I had to put up or shut up. Because if you know anything about professional school. There is no going to another school. You leave the school…. Then you’re done with that profession. There is no transfer or anything like that. I finished. Because I always finish what I start.

Why Serenity, are your panties in a twist??? Well after still being super amped after the race, I ran into a God, who I knew was Black Greek and a college grad. I told him about my race, and encouraged him to run next year. He said he didn’t go to a HBCU. I didn’t know that, though it seems like I should. I think the Greek thing mixed me up. Anywho… I know how this dance goes amongst folks who didn’t Go Black. He started telling me how he learned he was Black in college and got all revolutionary.

Do all Black students who go to majority institutions need to be told that? I didn’t. I was well aware that I was Black. My parents were the 60’s marching, separate but equaling, right to voting, freedom riding, boycotting folks. Not the 70’s Black Powering folks. They lived Jim Crow in the deep south. They knew they were Black and let me know I was Black too. They knew I wasn’t getting a real Black History education at school so they supplemented it with books, trips, flash cards, etc. Oh… I knew who I was and who the devil is. And my parents weren’t even righteous!

Let me tell you something…. In my entire life… only 1 white person has judged me to my face for having gone to a HBCU. Just 1. But all the Black people who go to majority institutions feel some kind of way about my education. A group of women visiting my roommate when I was in dental school called what I got, a “substandard segregated education.” Them bitches ain’t had nothing for me. I said, “Hmmm…. You might be right. But last time I checked the rate limiting step for glycolosis is phosphofructo kinase. And that’s at any school you go to whether it be Harvard or a community college. Also… yes I am the only HBCU graduate in this room and I am also the only person who walked out of college and into their chosen graduate program. I didn’t need to stop and take remedial coursework. So…….” Then I drove them in my car to the airport. My roommate didn’t have one and no one brought theirs.

This is my question…. Why do non HBCU graduates have opinions about those of us who chose to go to one? Like I said, white people don’t care. The argument that white employers will know your Black because of your school only holds up if white people have heard of the school in the 1st place. My given name does not at all sound Black. Especially my maiden last name. I look like a white girl on paper and have always gotten interviewed. White people aren’t sitting there with a list of Black colleges to cross check applications with. The only people who would know just off the tops of their heads are other Black people.

So again… why do other Black folks have issues with HBCU’s??? I’d really like to know. It’s not because of how proudly we rep our schools. Precise is a Syracuse University graduate and wears NOTHING but SU para when he isn’t working. I say rep whatever school you love. That’s your right. I hear non-HBCU folks telling high school children not to go to a Black school. Why? That’s gonna be the question of the day. Why damnnit? And if your reasons are so wonderful why are you scared to say them to our faces?

And remember that the statistic of more Black people going to majority institutions is misleading. Yes more Black students GO to majority institutions. But more Black students GRADUATE from HBCU’s. They aren’t getting passes and hook ups just because they are Black schools. I earned my B.S. degree. HBCU’s have to be accredidated just like majority schools in order to qualify for money, or make the degree meaningful. There are rules and regulations about who can graduate and who can’t. So again……

And as far as being a revolutionary goes…. I’ll let y’all fight the fight since that’s what you trained for. But I trained to handle the power once the fighting is over.