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?
a. I think people tend to assume that I am extremely ghetto which is funny because I am probably the least ghetto black person ever. I try and tell people that there are people much more ghetto than me and they are like really are you sure.
2) How does Andover approach racial divisions and diversity on campus? How does this approach integrate minority students into our community?
a. I believe CAMD is a really big help regarding the divisions students of color might feel here, but I think it inadvertently creates an even subtler divide. Sometimes it leaves white students feeling intimidated or uncomfortable to go into CAMD, or attend certain clubs. Also, it can be argued that since there are clubs simply to address issues of certain races, it embellishes their differences even more, leaving those not in the clubs to feel the “separateness” even more.
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?
a. I don’t think anyone truly holds the belief that I am black, and therefore I must be good at basketball, or love fried chicken. But there are times when I act differently from the assumed stereotypes and racially-tinged jokes are made.
4) Do you find that it is difficult for black students to earn leadership positions on campus?
a. I haven’t really been here long enough to have a qualified opinion on this just yet, but I do acknowledge that there are very few black students in leadership positions here. However, I’m not sure if this is just a lack of black people attempting to gain these positions, or just the fact that there are not that many black people here.
5) Are there certain extracurricular activities you feel you cannot do at this school because of your race?
a. Not really. Although there are certain sports where I may feel a bit less comfortable seeing that I’m the only person of my race at the tryouts or practices.
6) Have you ever felt invisible because of your race at Andover? If you have a specific experience would you mind sharing it?
a. If truth be told, I usually feel the opposite because of my race—as though I stick out like a sore thumb amongst all the long-haired white girls. During a study session the entire room was speaking loudly, enough so that the teacher could barely be heard. Although everyone was being obnoxious, my teacher yelled at me specifically. When I complained that I was not the only one speaking, my Hispanic friend immediately responded, “It’s because you’re black”, and though I did think it was funny, it was a bit annoying that the entire class laughed, and my teacher said absolutely nothing.
7) Have people ever credited your race for something rather than your own hardwork and skills, “ She got a six in that class but it was obviously only because she was black, he made the basketball team but it was because he was black and the coach just assumed he would be good”
a. No, not really, but probably because I haven’t really done anything all that spectacular since I got admitted here lol.
8) Do you think people at this school; students, teachers and faculty, would treat you differently if you were of a different race?
a. I actually think people might not like me as much if I weren’t black. I think it’s part of what makes me interesting—I’m the black girl without a perm who can’t play basketball or twerk. I feel like if I were white I would lose some of my “wow” factor, so to speak.
9) 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….”
a. I don’t think people consciously realize it, but when they ask questions about my hair, or rap, or politics, or things like that I feel as though they think I am ambassador to black people, and that the information I give for them goes for every black person.
10) What does it mean to be discriminated against? What experiences have you had that have shaped this definition?
a. To be discriminated against is to be treated unfairly or differently solely on the basis of race. I’ve never directly experienced such a situation, but there have definitely been times at restaurants or stores where older couples or men have stared at me strangely, and I was unable to identify any possible reason for it aside from race.
11) Is there a “typical black Andover student” if so how would you define him or her?
a. There are pretty much two black Andover student stereotypes to fit into. There is the “extremely ratchet”, hats all the time, raps while walking to Commons type, the kid that we all know is definitely not this ghetto at home but tries to play it up here at Andover. And then there’s the black kid who’s an “Oreo”, who the white kids are comfortable approaching but inadvertently isolate at times.
12) Has Andover ever made you feel ashamed of your race?
a. Not necessarily ashamed. I feel really comfortable being black here. But the “it’s because you’re black jokes” can get a bit stale at times.
13) What does it mean to be “pretty for a black girl?”
a. It tends to mean lighter-skinned, straighter hair, features that more closely resemble a euro-centric idea of beauty than an African aesthetic. There also seems to be this perception that in order for a dark-skinned girl to be pretty she must be exceptionally beautiful.
14)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. Yes, but it’s not always just white people. Many a time has a black girl chided me for my inability to twerk.
15) Do you feel that there is self-segregation or segregation within our community based on race?
a. I think it depends on the grade. There is really not a problem with segregation within my grade, but both myself and several of my friends have noted just how racially divided upperclassmen are, especially the seniors.
16) 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?
a. Yes. Definitely. I very rarely wear sweatpants out of the dorm, as I feel people may make assumptions about my sweatshirt and sweatpants that depict me as something other than simply myself.
17)Do you think that there is a general assumption on campus about black people and college admissions?
a. I can’t really speak about this, being a freshman who doesn’t have to think about college for another two years really.