Kai Lawson

#myhbcuexperience

Kai Lawson
#myhbcuexperience

If you think, the HBCU experience has ANYTHING to do with chicken, spades, double dutch, stoops and flaming hot cheetos…Then not only are you mistaken, but I actually really hate you right now.  You just can’t Rachel Dolezal your way into this experience. 

By this point, MANY people have read the “ I went to a PWI and still had a black college experience” article. And judging by the comments section MANY MANY MANY people agree with SBOWEN. 

EYEROLL, DEEP SIGH, GTFOH…and have several seats.                                                             

Here’s where I take issue—as an educated person of color, how do you limit the extent of someone’s experience to activities and stereotypes? Sure black people do a lot of the things, if not ALL of the things SBOWEN mentioned. We can each chicken and play spades anywhere, we can play double dutch any time and we can certainly sit on a stoop, weather permitting, at any stage of our lives. We’re also, not the only people who eat chicken (spades is still up for discussion), jump rope or sit on stoops— i mean have you been through Bedstuy lately? The point is NONE of these things speak to a College or University experience, and therefor none of these activities listed, has anything to do with the price of tea in China or having an HBCU experience. 

The HBCU experience is less about baddies, natural hair, homecoming and the list of things only HBCU Alumni understand, and more so about the nuances of what equality can/should feel like. What people don’t consider about the HBCU experience in contrast to any other experience a person of color may have in their lives is the is likely first, last and only time we didn’t feel pressured to work twice as hard to be just as good. If you know anything about the black experience in LIFE you know what I mean when I say that.

When we worked hard, we were acknowledged as deserved. This is one of the few times we’re known for what we bring to the table, and what our successes are, and it’s unlikely that someone will ever say “you know— the black girl/guy in class”, yet instead you’re more likely to hear— you know— the girl/guy who does/contributes/won XYZ accolade.

When you first arrive to an HBCU, you realize two things: you’re at home and you have the same chance for success as everyone else. The rest is up to you to make your personal success happen. 

ALSO! SPOILER ALERT! HBCU’s are not 100% black. In fact there is an unsuspecting diverse pool of students on many campuses across the country. Go visit the yard at Howard University. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

HUUUUU YOU KNOWWW!