Monday, March 20, 2017

What is an HBCU?   

Up until my senior year in high school I didn’t know what a HBCU was…I was enrolled in PWI’s for as long as I could remember. Always being the token African American kid in almost all my classes; now reflecting on that situation with today’s topic I realize it didn’t bother me then and it doesn’t bother me now. I think cultural submersion is best for any person to truly gain knowledge of others unlike themselves.
Oooo the easy days when life just seemed to flow and you really didn’t put much effort into being you; you were cute because you were young and your skin didn’t break out like it does now at the thought of sweets. My high school days (stares into space smiling), it was the best and most stressful time, as it is for any student. My junior year- SAT’s, proms, college applications, and career choices. I never had an idea of where I wanted to go to college, I just knew that I wanted to study government/politics and later become an attorney.
I applied to the University of New Haven, Jacksonville State, Howard University, and Virginia Wesleyan. I was accepted into all and I chose Howard. Not really understanding what that meant and what the institution stood for. My senior assembly with the principals and support staff included slide shows of college finances and college preparation, we never discussed the different types of universities.

Now here I am 4 years later at the ‘Mecca’ wondering if I would change schools or experiences… and I wouldn’t. People that attend HBCU’s get a lot of flak for not experiencing diversity and inclusion, but I find it to be just the opposite. Howard University is NOT I repeat NOT 100% African American; there are many mixed cultures, whites, and Asians included; that attend Howard proudly. This could be a con, but is systematically a pro. With a majority, African American run facility- it makes you appreciate and value your experience even more. So many of us are constantly trying to prove ourselves in a sea of people that don’t look like us, but what do you do when your instructor and classmates look just like you?

I felt for a long time that my presence wasn’t essential, there were a thousand others wanting to be in my position and they could claim it; but then I realized I needed this opportunity to change old habits and perceptions, gain new knowledge and pride in who I am and what I look like, and forever claim ‘Excellence in Truth and Service’.
I would highly recommend going to a university out of state and HBCU’s; I don’t think there is anything wrong with submerging yourself around different cultures and societies. Exclusion takes place when the mind refuses to be included with the masses.

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Thursdays topic hasn’t been finalized but the title is “When is it ok to make a bucket list?”

Xoxox, Toni

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