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?
- A lot of people at this school who are black are on financial aid and so a lot of people just seem to take that as the whole. Freshman year all the friends I hung out with were of a certain financial background and because I hung out with them, everyone assumed I was too and I wasn’t.
2) How does Andover approach racial divisions and diversity on campus? How does this approach integrate minority students into our community?
- I feel like the school glorifies divisions. Like Af-lat-am or International club. But I think it helps to be in it. They are pretty exclusive and they don’t help facilitate discussion. Students who don’t belong are always more harshly judged for their comments. If white people went to Af-lat-am and they made a comment then everyone will look at them and think “oh of course the white person said that”
- Also, one thing that I don’t like about this school is that you can be a white person and go, if you choose, all four years without interacting with a single black person but you cant be a black person and go four years without speaking to a white person even if you tried. If I wasn’t black, and I was the same everything and not black, I don’ think I would ever go and sick at the black table.
- Back home, I never hung out with exclusively black friends but at school I have friends from all races but my best friends are almost all black and I think it’s because they understand what it is like to be a black student at Andover in ways a white student might not. When my mom met all my friends she was so shocked because at home I kind of neglect my race simply because the community is more heterozygous and I don’t feel I stand out as much and at school I embrace my race.
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?
- For me yes but it is more so with the black people. If everyone is talking about being ashy, I have to be like “oh yeah same! I’m so ashy!” but really I have no idea what it means. Freshman year all the black kids were so mean to me because they said I was “too white” I felt like I wasn’t black enough for the black kids. I became friends with a lot of white kids in my dorm and I gravitated away from the black students because I felt like I wasn’t the epitome of black and I just didn’t fit in with them.
4) Have you ever felt invisible because of your race at Andover? If you have a specific experience would you mind sharing it?
- Not invisible but if you are in a class and they are talking about something stereotypically white everyone ignores you but if you are talking about something black everyone looks to you and If you are an expert.
5) Do you think people at this school; students, teachers and faculty, would treat you differently if you were of a different race?
- a. Yes, but I don’t think specifically at this school. If you are black you will always have to deal with people making assumptions about you. Like every time I go to CVS I see the store clerk watching me I’m always going to be a “the black friend” I don’t think I would ever want to be in the majority because by being black, I notice the little subtitles of racism that black people have to endure and if I weren’t my race I probably would be ignorant to them. It’s helped me gain an appreciation for my race and culture and even more so anyone who is a minority in any sense.
6) 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….”
- I think teachers do it the most out of everyone. What do you think, it’s probably more accurate because you know. Just because you are black doesn’t mean you have to relate to every single slave thing. People simply look at you it’s like everyone’s heads whip lash in your direction when the mention of something slave related comes up in class. People are waiting to see your reaction. I think it’s offensive to the people who were slaves. I don’t know them, none of my relatives were slaves, I can in no way speak on their behalf simply because I share a commonality of being the same race as them. Their lives were so much worse than mine ever possibly could be.
7) What does it mean to be “pretty for a black girl?”
- It’s degrading. Like if they had a scale of the 10 prettiest girls and then there will have a sub category of pretty black girls and even the prettiest black girl will not be as hot as the number 10 on the white girls pretty list.
- There is this one black guy who only hooks up with white girls and everyone says that it is racist he doesn’t date his own but if he prefers white girls what’s the big difference. Like if you are a black girl who hooks up with a white guy then the whole school knows you’ll get with white guys. Same with guys. If a white guy hooks up with a black girl it’s the same thing. Within the black people everyone will talk and his name will come up because he has that reputation. No black girl is ever going to assume that a white guy would want to hook up with her.