1) 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?
- Yes. I hate walking to the Andover Inn. My friends love having dinner there but I hate it. Every time I walk in I feel like all eyes are on me. People are waiting for me to steal something or reaffirm another black stereotype. I find myself trying to “act white” when I am there. I have to make sure I sit with a straight posture or be careful about what I say and articulate my words. I don’t want to give people any more of a reason to judge me.
2) Do you find that it is difficult for black students to earn leadership positions on campus?
- Um I think maybe not because of discrimination but because it takes black students a while to get things together. It is harder to adjust to the school when you have you have to deal with the fact that you are overly conscious about your race. By upper year when things start to matter and people start getting positions, black students are already a step behind other people who had their act together freshman year.
2) Is there a “typical black Andover student” if so how would you define him or her?
- People seem to think that a typical black Andover student is from the Bronx or Harlem, talks “ghetto” wears his or her pants low and is on financial aid. People probably think that they are stupid too…well maybe not stupid just not as smart.
3) Has Andover ever made you feel ashamed of your race?
- Maybe not ashamed per say but if I am hanging out with other black students and they start acting like how people might stereotype black student to act like I feel embarrassed like people might be judging me for their actions.
4) What does it mean to be “pretty for a black girl?”
- To be light skinned and skinny. Literally if you aren’t any of those things, boys on this campus will not even look at you twice.
5) Do you feel that there is self-segregation or segregation within our community based on race?
- Yes but I wouldn’t call it self-segregation. I think people have a skewed perspective on it. I like to hang around people I am more comfortable with and I am more comfortable with people of my own race because they understand the struggles a typical black student has to endure at Andover in ways that a non-black student might not. I feel that around some other students I always have to be on my guard because I am afraid of acting “too black” around them. It’s nice to hang around people of your own race and relax without thinking that they are judging you for being yourself.
6) 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?
- Yes. Sometimes when I get angry or passionate or fired up about something, I have to remind myself to calm down. I got really angry one time and someone said “watch out there is a crazy black woman on the loose” I was offended because how come when white students get mad it’s okay? Am I not allowed to show emotions just because of my race.
7) Do you think that there is a general assumption on campus about black people and college admissions?
- Yes. One of my friends had a sister in the class of ’11 and her sister didn’t get into Stanford early and still to this day the girl in my grade keeps talking about how unfair it is, about how [the black girl] didn’t deserve to take away her sister’s spot and the only reason [the black girl] got into Stanford was because of her race. Literally this girl was one of the smartest people I knew on campus. She took math 590 as a freshman, she was captain of the dance squad and she was one of the most interesting people on campus but simply because she was black, all her credentials didn’t seem to matter anymore. I am afraid that when I get into college, none of my friends are going to think I deserved it. It doesn’t matter how hard I work. I am my color and not my intelligence or successes.