As an African-American woman, she has always been aware of racism and prejudice, small instances as opposed to disheartening big ones. From a young age she knew how it felt to be treated differently because of the color of your skin. Luckily, she lived in neighborhoods where her neighbors were of all different cultures, so she never experienced outright racism. So when it was time for her to go to college, she was excited to move out of her house and be on her own. She was ready to take on the world and be enlightened as college was supposed to be full of liberal and open-minded people. She was ready to be around people who she could learn from and share experiences with.
When she got to college, like many who go to a majority of large or public universities, she was the only black girl in almost all of her classes. This never bothered her because she’s really not the kind of person who needs to be around black people to feel comfortable. To her surprise, her being black seemed to make her classmates somewhat uncomfortable and shut off. She came into all her classes with a smile on her face, ready to make friends. What she found was that her smiles were not returned and instead, she was given the cold shoulder. She was pretty much invisible. Most students in her classes never talked to her, and when they were forced to have interactions, you could tell that it was just that, forced. She always had to make the first move and speak to them first.
Her classmates were always surprised by her responses in class. They were always shocked when they saw that her grades on tests were higher than theirs. It was clear that they made assumptions about her based on the color of her skin. She’s not sure exactly what these assumptions were based on though. Maybe they were used to seeing black women in a non-academic setting. Maybe they thought that as a black woman she was supposed to fit the stereotype they saw on TV. Maybe they assumed that she wasn’t smart enough to be where they were. Because she never spoke to them about their qualms, this question remains unanswered.
The eyes of disapproval never changed how she felt about herself though. Throughout college she had numerous friends of different races and continued to stay open-minded. Her experiences in class did not dictate the rest of her college experience, and she was not jaded by the fact that people who were not black may have looked at her differently because she knew who she was as a person. She refused to walk around with a chip on her shoulder because she knew what she represented. She can’t be the spokesperson for the entire race and do the absolute most to get any and everyone’s approval and admiration, but instead, she can only be her. She just wish that she could have educated or enlightened some of her classmates who preferred to stay with their own people and who went out of their way to NOT give her a chance.
College was a great experience for her altogether. One lesson that she took away from it is that in this world, whether she’s in school or at work, the color of her skin will always precede her. People will automatically judge her in some way because she’s black, including other black people.She knows now that it’s not her job to fight the stereotype. The best way to negate a stereotype is to just be you. No matter what stereotype people think she is , she know that once they get to know her they will see that they where wrong, which brings her all the satisfaction she need
(credits to: madamenoire.com)