Why A Black Ivy League Is Needed

Why A Black Ivy League Is Needed

Let’s create a legacy in which black people can be known as elite.
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The Black Ivy League is a subject of constant social debate among individuals who attend historically black collegiate institutions. Many argue that the Ivy League comparison drawn from the use of this terminology undermines the experience in education that students can receive at HBCUs. Others think this comparison shouldn’t exist because it minimizes the value of the HBCUs whose names are not brought up in the Black Ivy League discussion. I, however, disagree with these opinions. I believe that the HBCU community should not only support the idea of a Black Ivy League, but also, should work to establish and cement the Black Ivy League as a concrete bond among institutions.

Typically when discussed, the Black Ivy League consists of the following institutions: Fisk University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Dillard University, Howard University, Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University, and Tuskegee University. It’s more than likely that you’ve heard of at least one school on this list if not each one. These institutions are held as gems within the black community and are known for their accomplishments in academics, innovation, and overall social development among black people. These schools are known to be the cultivators of distinguished alumni such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Jr., Alice Walker, Thurgood Marshall, Spike Lee, Booker T. Washington, Ralph Ellison, and many, many more. With all things considered, how can it be denied that these institutions, who have produced Rhodes scholars, bestselling authors, award-winning filmmakers, and contributive humanitarians are comparable to a few northern schools known for their outstanding educations?

Even if we were to say that these institutions exist in similar lights as a Harvard, Princeton, or Dartmouth, why should we draw this comparison? Why do we have to say ‘Ivy League’?

1. Show not prove

Why shouldn’t we compare these HBCUs to the Ivy League when the institutions are accomplishing equal to or greater than Ivy League institutions concerning African Americans? The purpose of the comparison isn’t to prove. This suggests that HBCUs have ground to close to put themselves in the same field as Ivy League schools. Instead, the purpose is to show; Howard already leads the nation in black undergraduates who go on to receive their doctorates, Morehouse has already produced Rhodes and Fulbright scholars, Fisk already sends more African Americans to earn PhDs in natural sciences than any other institution in the United States. These accomplishments are known by few; pushing the Black Ivy League can bring these accomplishments to the forefront.

2. Representation: The Black Ivy League Swagger


HBCUs already have their own distinct image. Even more, schools considered to be members of the Black Ivy League are known for their own distinct student bodies and ability to produce both socially and academically advanced graduates. You may have heard that you can tell a Morehouse man, but you can’t tell him much. You might know that Clark students find a way or make one. The image of the Black Ivy League doesn’t have to mimic that of the Ivy League because the image of the Black Ivy League already exists. Cementing of the Black Ivy League can cement the image that these schools are already creating.

3. You CAN attend an HBCU

Many students are apprehensive about attending HBCUs out of high school. Even more people inside and outside of their own collegiate experience are concerned about the state of HBCUs in general. Needless to say, HBCUs are not the obvious first choice of African American students as they once were in the 1960s and 1970s. Although the climate of America has changed from this time period, the need of African Americans are similar, and as a people, African American men and women should have pride in historically black institutions. The standard of education and the perception of HBCUs should make black students enthused about attending an HBCU out of high school. A Black Ivy League can create that gold standard; it can embolden the perception of HBCUs that can create an enthusiasm among black students to attend HBCUs that has never been seen before pushing historically black institutions further and further into the ranks of elite institutions in the United States.

Therefore, I must ask; why can’t we show that intelligence and African American culture do coexist? Why can’t we embrace the comparisons that are already being drawn for us? Why can’t we be proud of black affluence in education?

Let’s create a legacy in which black people can be known as elite; let’s allow the Black Ivy League.


Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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8 Things You Should Know about being a Server

"Some of my customers make me want to print this out and staple it to their foreheads."

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I wrote this out of frustration of the ones who don't know what it's like to be a sever.

This has been on my heart ever since I became a server and it's these things I want everyone to understand.

1. We don’t make an hourly wage

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Well, we do, but it's only $2.15 an hour. After taxes are taken out, it comes to be roughly $0.75 an hour. Being a server is not like other jobs, we do not rely on our weekly check to pay the bills or put gas in our cars. If I serve 6 tables in one night and they all leave me $3, looks like I'm leaving with only $18. My paycheck from my 40 hour pay period of 2 weeks is only going to turn out to be about $30, that is if I don't get money taken out for employee meals. Servers work late nights so there is no proper time for dinner so getting an employee meal is sometimes the only option.

2. 15% is not a good tip

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Before I started serving I thought that 15% was what I left when my server did a very good job. Keywords of that sentence is “before I became a server." If your server did an excellent job, AT LEAST leave 20%. We would appreciate more, but anything is better than 15%. If you don't know how to calculate this, pull out your calculator, type in the amount of your bill, and multiply by 0.20 and there you go!

3. The attitude you have towards me reflects my attitude towards you

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I'm not saying if you're super sassy with me, then I'm going to be super sassy back. I'm saying that if you seem like you don't want to be here and don't talk a lot, then I'm not going to try to spark a conversation with you. I love when my customers acknowledge me and try to spark a conversation themselves. For every customer, I want to make your experience at this restaurant the best that I can make it, but if you don't talk back, I'll try to come to your table the least that I can.

4. Acknowledge me when I come to your table

It is one of the most embarrassing things when I come to the table and you keep talking amongst yourselves when I have asked you a question. I won't be there for long so while I'm standing there, please listen to me and answer my question and then I will be on my way. Most people act like it's not my job to come up and ask what you want to eat.

5. I don’t work in the kitchen, so if your food isn’t cooked right, don’t get an attitude with me

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Your fried grouper is over cooked? I'm very sorry and I will repeatedly tell you how sorry I am for that, but I want you to understand something. I am not in the kitchen cooking the food myself. The kitchen will mess up sometimes, just like I do, and that's okay. But please, don't get an attitude with me about it because it was not something I could have prevented. I promise we will work it out.

6. I am trained to have a greeting line, so please don’t interrupt me before I’m done greeting you

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“Hey how are you guys do..."

“I'll have a water with lemon."

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. It is my job to ask you what you want to drink so I will get to it, but before I do that, let me get through my greeting line like I am trained to do.

7. Servers have a lot that goes through their minds

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“Ranch for table 6.

Refill drinks at table 7 and 8. Wow that guy drinks a lot.

Don't forget that the guy at table 7 wants his ribeye trimmed a certain way and cooked in-between medium and medium rare.

Where is the water pitcher??

Call out salads for table 8. No onions and peppers on one.

Grab the check from table 5.

Theres no more sweet tea in the urn. We need more!

UGH RANCH FOR TABLE 6!"

I saw something similar to this on Facebook one time, and I laughed at how accurate it was. If I forget that ranch for table 6 at the end of the night, it will hit me and I will feel and about it.

8. Lastly, I am human and I will make some mistakes

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I will stumble upon my words when I say filet mignon because for some reason it is a hard word for me to say. My mind will go blank sometimes when you ask me what kind of wine we have. I will mess up every now and then. Sometimes it will be your fault because just like me, you mess up too and that's perfectly OK.


Becoming a server was one of the most eye opening experiences for me and if I could, I would make it a law for everyone to be a server at some point in their life, but that would be really silly. I hope this opens the eyes of some people. I know being a server isn't the most difficult job in the whole world, but I can promise you it is not the easiest either.

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