1) What do you think (if anything), people assume about you because of your race (personality, socioeconomic status, culture, childhood)? Have you tried to change or conform to their assumption?
- People seem to assume that I am from the ghetto. Someone came up to me and asked what part of Harlem I was from! It is rude. They also think that if they talk ghetto to me I will understand them better. I don’t talk like I am from the ghetto so I don’t understand why a student would feel that they should talk like they are from the ghetto to me.
2) Have you ever felt invisible because of your race at Andover? If you have a specific experience would you mind sharing it?
- When it comes to relationships if you are of color and you don’t have white characteristics then guys completely disregard your existence. It’s just not fair because dating is such a big thing in high school that, then on top of all the stress you wonder what are you doing wrong and why guys don’t like you and why you are not beautiful and you honestly just don’t need that.
3) What does it mean to be “pretty for a black girl?”
- I have only heard that term used here and it was when I first got here. It wasn’t used towards me but I heard it going around. I think if it’s like you are half white or half European or have those characteristics, not too dark skinned, straight hair, small nose then guys will be more inclined to like you. I have naturally curly hair and last year I got it straightened and everyone kept telling me how pretty I looked. I was wondering like why am I only pretty now?
4) Have people ever qualified you based on your race for example, “You are articulate for a black person, you are bad at dancing for a black person”
a. It seems like either people categorize me as “articulate for a black person” or “ghetto” depending on where they interact with me. If they see me dancing in the Den on a Saturday night or being a little loud and laughing with my friend then I’m ghetto. If they see me in class answering questions and participating in discussions, then I’m smart. I’m never just a person; I’m never seen as just me.
5) Do you feel that there is self-segregation or segregation within our community based on race?
- At Andover I think people definitely say that in the Lower grade, my friends and I are kind of like the “black girls” in the grade because we all hang out together but we have diverse friends. The friend groups that develop are more for comfort. It’s whomever you are comfortable around and who you have things with in commons. We heard from another white student that when other people talk about us, they refer to us as the “black students.” And it never occurred to use before. Freshman year, our group of friends was definitely all Hispanics or black and hearing that we tried to branch out. It helped with perspective.