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?
- That I am a crazy angry black woman. If they think I am crazy then I am crazy If I’m angry I am angry and I’m black and I can’t change that.
2) How does Andover approach racial divisions and diversity on campus? How does this approach integrate minority students into our community?
- The buckwild clique there are no people of color, not even an asianI think that there is a way in which we like to think we are diverse but there are pockets that are racially and socioeconomically divided. I think there are places were racism is more socially accepted such as the hook up culture. I hate when people say “I am not attracted to black girls” but there are all different shades of black and how can you say you aren’t arttracted to a whole race. How can you make a prejudice assumption that you ill never be attracted to someone or a group of people eyou have never seen the whol spectrum up.
3) Are there certain expectations other people have of you because of your race? Do you feel that other students hold you to act to “black or ethnic” stereotypes?
- I don’t think they are expextations, I think I have a reputation of benig really crazy and I have talked to my other black friend and it is almost as if because we are black and are girls there is a craziness associated with us. My friend things that people think because she is black, she is loose and crazy and wiling to do anything sexually and that’s a reputation people pin on her. I think I have a similar reputation that maybe not sexually but fucuses on my personality that there is a crazy part of me that is black and that is the identifier for my reputation
4) Do you find that it is difficult for black students to earn leadership positions on campus?
- In general I think not as much for black boys but more so for black girls. There is a certain element of respect that is somewhat lost. Even with certain black teachers there is less reverence and respect like less honor for their position.
5) Are there certain extracurricular activities you feel you cannot do at this school because of your race?
- I would never be on the crew team or play lacrosse. I probably would never do golf either squash. When was there even a black person on any of these teams.
6) Have you ever felt invisible because of your race at Andover? If you have a specific experience would you mind sharing it?
- I feel invisible all the time. Well not so much now but definitely freshman and lower year. It always comes up with guysFor black girls on campus, beauty is so underrate. I have so many beautiful black girlfriends and I know sometimes we all feel like we are invisible to guys and it is somewhat disheartening and I know its not going to ruin our lives but no teenager should have to feel like they aren’t beautiful. This is a male dominated school and when white males don’t recognize your beauty, in a way they are amking them feel invisible then the black girls feel like they can’t compete with the white girsl (all subconscious) white girls think that they are superior like black girls can never compete and they don’t have t oconsider themselves equal. Because black girls never get boyfriends. Because my boys do not recognize you as beautiful then you are not socially beautiful white girls have more social power. Within the girls there is no comradarie Huys hook up with black girls so they can check something off the list or entertaining the idea of the exotic other. It’s dehumanizing. They don’t see black girls in the same way they see white girls. Even when they do get with guys they are always questioning how he sees her.
7) , teachers and faculty, would treat you differently if you were of a different race?
- Oh yeah! But I wouldn’t be me if I were a different race. My blackness is an integral part of my race. I love who I am and I wold never discount that or change that. It has shaped how I have identified and interacted with the world. Every interaction I have, and it is sad to say this, is based on race. My life would be different if I were not black but I would also not be me. I would have more opportunities at this school if I were white. I wouldn’t feel like I had to keep buying things to fit in. If I were white I would be in the majority nd already fit in. I think friend groups would accept me better. I know I’m not the status quo but I recognize that is what makes me uniue. My culture and racial ethinc background is such a huge part of me so I would never give that up just to fit in.
8) Do people ever tokenize you? For example do people ask you to speak on behalf of your entire race? “As a person of color, what do you think about….”
- “are you sure you are black. You don’t act like ll the other black kids, you are so articulate and intelligent.
9) What does it mean to be discriminated against? What experiences have you had that have shaped this definition?Shw probbAably have 3 blck friends in totl and she thinks she can make sweeping generalizations about an entire race. I surround myself with liveral minded people.
10) Is there a “typical black Andover student” if so how would you define him or her?
- I think there si a typical mold each black student rties to hold like the I have to prove myslf. I have to show that evn though I am black I am just as smart and worthy to be here. I think peple go about it in completely different ways. Some people try socially buy buying their way. Some use their sexual identity. Some use money to prove they can wear the same clotes and eat the same foods. Some are like I can buy the same drugs I can be just as drunk , some try and prove themselves in the classroom like I can get just the same grades as you look at me. Maybe I got in beause maybe I could fill some kind of minority quota but I deserve to be here and all the black students are trying to prove themselves here in one way or another. White students have the same problem but blacks want to prove they are more inferior.
11) Has Andover ever made you feel ashamed of your race?
- Sometmes I feel uncomfortable, like little things, freshman year my friend walks into my room and I talk differently with y friends, we have such a casual dialect and I never consider it as a sign that I am unintelligent what appaled me was my friends reaction to hearing me talk on the phone like that. She was like ive never heard you talk like that its so silly, why don’t you talk like how you do to me all the time. Tht really wounded me. Talking with my friend is comfortable to me. I know how to use proper grammar but I grew up with people who talk like that so its fair for me to want to talk to them like thar. She thought I should talk the way I talk to her all the time. If we are getting the same grade in English why should I not be able to switch my dialet with my friends?
- When I get my hair done at a salon and I have to wrap it, I feel uncomfortable about because they are not considered normal, like if you run into somoen wearing a shower cap they will make a comment about how weird it is
12) What does it mean to be “pretty for a black girl?”
- Oh god don’t get me started. I grew up in n all black community so I recognize different views and shades as beautifula and it made me really value that. I recognize the beauty of all black features. Even in black culture thre is a way in which lighter skin is revered. Sometimes even black people overlook that
- Something exceptional about you I mean exceptional meaning there is some feature of your black ness that Is closer to whiteness. I thin kthere is a pressure to have your hair straigtend or kept in a certain way so that it is not the natural texture. Especeially at andover there is a fetisization of mixed girls. Not even just black all mixtures like white and Asian or black and white or black and Asian,eever since I was a freshman here. I thin white boys are obsessed with exotiv girls. Mixed girls get more attentinong an d that’s probalmatice. White features make them sexier and while they are beautiful they are no more beautiful than their white counter paret. That’s where trouble arises. Black girls who are mied with white can be considered more beautiful than other black girls.
13) Do you feel that there is self-segregation or segregation within our community based on race?
- Ok this is a huge thing for me. I think it is such an issue that when we talk about diversity on campus and we talk about how certain groups isolate thesleves from others the first thing they bring up is how black students have these cliqures. One reason this really upsets me is that as a minority, we find comfort in one another, to be a minority in a school of white students to have 8% have shared experiences involving their cultre and their race of course they will gravitate towards one anoterh and will more comfortable in the greater white community and we are in this place so far away in thin kcomfort is wonderful. People criticize a flat am and alianza latina and say why is ther no white group. This school is the white group. If I am the only balck student in my class no one shaeres my experience. I don’t think its separation rather gravitation towards something comfortable. I thinkit is loving and caring they can’t get in the greater community. A home awayfrom hoem. They are all often the onlu black students in their class or in their dorm. Every moment besides when they are hanging with the black friends they are integrating themselves constantly. My black friends understand things my white friends never could. I understand the importance of not iolating myself. There are black students who are anti conforming but that is not the majority of black student.s On the other hand it is really easy to be a white student and completely isolate yourself from having minority friends. That is where the trouble lies and why racism can be a problem in a school with more diversity than other kid.some white kids belvie they don’t need black frineds. They will all go to ivies, investment bankers we don’t need to subscribe to this idea of diversity this si where the racism come from s because there is not discussion between black students and the numerous groups who feel above the idea of diversity. Students who don’t make an effort to meet people in any minorities. The only people they are talking to are like minded people who are already entitled and they get this idea of superortiy . I think people should learn form others of different cultures and cultural experience. It would really change the dynamic of the school if there was more of a dialogue between the racial minorities and white student about race.
14) Do you feel that you have to dress, talk or act a certain way so people will make assumptions about you because of your race?
- Peole assume black pepol are really ghetto and really hood. White popel assue all blacks are poor. I come from a middle class family I am not well off , or poor. Economic identity is something no one talks about and people just assume black students are poor. I know a lot of the grls buy certain things that the white girls buy and comlpetley try and subscribe to this new England culture and contradict the assumptons whites might have about the,. No black girls ever where sterytypically black brands. There is a culture of trying to prove that someone is not an impoverished hoodlum .
15) Do you think that there is a general assumption on campus about black people and college admissions?
- Most of the white kids on this campus think they are against affirmative action because affirmative actuion helps white females. There is never conversations between blacks and blacks or blacks and whites about it. Its uncomfortable. No one is informed enough about ths topic. When spike lee came a white girl asked if he agreed with affirmative action which was an obvious question. I which students where better informed about it. I don’t thin kthe girl know what she was talking about when she asked the question. Most people think affermitive action is bad because their paretns say so and wount help them get into college. “youre black so your chances of gettinginto college are better, or you don’t need to worry as much as I do.
- My roommate lower year was upset when she didn’t get an email from an ivy league and I did. I got an email from Columbia. She saw the email and said “I bet they sent that to you because you put doen that you were black” I wasn’t even thinking about applying there and I didn’t want to go she was upset about it but I was offended
My friend is a black girl who tried out for a singing group because she likes singing and she is really good at it. Grasshopper rolls around and Azure chooses a song and they choose the girls who get to sing solos. The co-head comes up to her and tells her she has a solo. Mind you it is a rapping solo. The girl can sing better than half the girls on azure but she gets the one rapping solo because she is black. They didn’t even audition other girls to see if she was the best rapper they just assumed she was because of her race! She told the co-heads she didn’t want the solo but he co-heads said she should be happy she got a solo because as a lower it is unheard off. So she takes it. The next Azure event she get another rapping solo. She called her mom crying. She talked to the co-heds asking why she got another rapping solo when she joined the group to sing. She articulates her concerns but they keep telling her she should be happy about her solos and she got another solo because she was so good at the first one. I was so pissed. It makes me so sad for her because her voice is beautiful but it’s blatant racism. You can say she is getting the part because she is a better rapper but how would they know because they never auditioned the whole group. I went and talked to the co-heads but the didn’t see a problem with it at all. To them it isn’t racism but it is, no one can deny that that is racism.