I walk into a room. People may analyze my clothing choices, my hairstyle, accessories, and how I've chosen to carry myself. Depending on occasion or mood, these things can change.
My skin color, however, cannot and will not change.
That statement is true for every Black American. No matter if we're sporting a suit or hoodie, a briefcase or gym tote, a chain or graduation stole, we are still black. Therefore, individuals that perceive a simple surplus in melanin to mean anything negative will only see negative, no matter how decorated and honorable the person with the skin truly is.
If I told you, Black America, that I go to a school where I am about 13% of the population, what would you say?
Would you see that statistic as negative? Positive? Neither?
What if I continued to say that my institution often ignores the voices of those like me and even more minorities that are even smaller in percentages?
Would you say we shouldn't have gone here knowing we'd be a minority? Would you say we should have known better? Would you sound off 50 different locations where you think we should have attended with no regard to funding, family, scholarships available, etc.?
Well, Black America, we all do.
America is about 12% Black. We are all a minority. Ironically, the institution that has brought me overwhelming joy, opportunities, scholarship, and knowledge reflects one institution that we have in common, the actual nation, the bigger institution, that we all are trying to get to listen to us.
I'm not here to invalidate the culture or communion of Black Colleges. We all know their importance transcends any era. We all know their union created generational bonds of brother and sisterhood. We all know that similarities among a national minority pale in the institutional safe haven that allows for deeper differences to emerge.
But what we all need to realize is that college is just three to six years of your young adult life.
We are all in an institution where we are a minority. We are all seeking change from our government. We are all trying to have our voices heard, both as individuals and as a collective.
We are all in need of uniting. The choices that led us to our scholastic institutions are our own. We can choose that. But outside of our minute four years of college, we are all in a predominately white institution. After we all graduate, we all are in a PWI.
Let us bond together.
Four years of our young adult lives are not something to argue about 10 years from now.
But the many challenges we face are worth uniting together.