Lists, Pop Culture, Race & Politics

A Different World?

It’s no secret that I attended an HBCU. I went to the one that everybody either loves or hates but everybody wants to be like. (Girl) You know it’s true, ooh ooh ooh, I love you.

And do you know why I love you?

It’s because we’re marriage material.  Straight up, like that. Ask ya mama.

Anybody who went to an HBCU will tell you that its like living in a bubble. It’s pretty much a false representation of what the real world looks like. In fact, the real world looks nearly exactly opposite of an HBCU – a place where all the ninjas read and aren’t afraid of information. We all hope that when we leave we’ll enter a world where life was exactly like college but it never is…

…which is why so many Black women who graduate stay single for so long. The second we graduate, there is a significant power shift from the women dominated-choice-is-yours to the male-centric-its a thousand yous and only one of mes dynamic. But that’s not what this post is about. See, I had a revelation recently. A realization, if you will. Plymouth Rock landed on me something fierce and it took three Muslims and two Pac’s to show me the way. You see, I discovered that life at PWI (predominantly white institutions) wasn’t like life at HBCUs.

I knew that, but I didn’t really know that. Nahmean?

See, I assumed that all Black folks shared the same college experience, but that’s not true. Who knew? And what am I talking about? Glad you asked. Here are some assumptions I made about all ninjas in college.

1) Everybody’s college goal wasn’t to live life like A Different World

Nearly all of us that went to HBCUs went and had some expectation of it being something like A Different World. Hell, my experience was a lot like that. Do you know that I recently met somebody who who couldn’t remember Whitley OR Dwayne Wayne’s name? She told me that she’d seen the show but never really got into it. Floored me like four shots of Patron and a Rihanna rendition of “Lift Every Voice And Sing”. I just assumed that all Black folks wanted that life. Apparently I was wrong. And if two wrongs don’t make a right, and three rights make a left, upside down and inside out is the same things as back back, forth and forth, then I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Bubbles.

Sidenote: What the f*ck is up with Kanye’s videos for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy?  Who would have thought his 34 minute mini-movie would be the best video to come out of the whole thing? The absolute best thing about the “All Of The Lights” video is Rihanna’s boobs. Man, they look lovely. I would propose to them, and even if they told me no, I’d say thanks for the opportunity. Other than that, the video, though colorful seems like it needs to come with a warning because of the epileptic seizures it’s sure to cause. Oh, and Kanye needs a fashion intervention. Thank you.

2) That everybody sat around watching movies like Love Jones, The Best Man, Friday, Thin Line etc…

We pretty much only watched Black movies on repeat. In case you aren’t aware, Champ really liked Love Jones and just saw it for the first time. Which he’s made sure to let us know a few times. He also hasn’t seen a plethora of other movies that were just standard fare at my HBCU and I’m sure were at others. If a Black movie came out, we all went…together. Like we shut sh*t down in the A. The Wood? Check. Love & Basketball? Check. Stomp The Yard? Check. We might think they suck, but we’re gonna go see them and watch the over and over. I thought all ninjas did that.  I mean, we all Black.  Ise ‘ron.

3) College was littered with poets and “Sanctuary” style events

I can’t tell you how many sh*tty poets were running rampant at my and other HBCUs. It’s like an HBCU rite of passage: thou shalt attempt to be a poet. Everybody is required to write at least one poem in order to graduate. Every Tuesday, we had some kind of poetry event, not to mention our Underground Live events. Random celebs would just come chill. It’s where I learned to add “fallacy of reality” and “virgin to the mic” into my lexicon and realized that I needed to talk about my soul a lot. That’s what ninjas at HBCUs do, we talk about our soul.

4) Experiment with religions that contradict your upbringing

If you went to a school upnorf, chances are you there were a few 5 Percenters on your campus. I went to an HBCU, there was like a 5 Percenter smoker, BBQ, and bake sale. We had so many random “religious” organizations and pseudo-spiritual ninjas running around. And these would be the dudes shouting down the white man….except for their white mothers. Let’s just say, there was a noticeable population of “spiritual” ninjas who nobody took serious. I’m not sure if this happens at PWIs but I figured, ya know, there were ninjas named Golden Sun on EVERYBODY’s campus.

5) Spend seven years in undergrad

Um…#hbcushotsfired?

Anyway, my people, my people, are there any assumptions you had about the opposite situation (HBCU vs PWI) that you may have found out just wasn’t the case?

When did you fall in love with hiphop realize that Black folks weren’t monolithic?

Talk to me.

-VSB P aka HBC P aka THE ARSONIST aka lower.case.p aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Localsearchfordentists.com | Charles Gallamore | Rodd Sala

Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • ProBabyHair

    Awwwwww yeah!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

    Could it be?

    • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

      I realized that black folks weren’t monolithic when I started visiting my husband, my then fiance, at Ohio State. I learned that Black folks from the east coast are WAY different from our midwestern counter parts.

      • hehe

        I’ve never been to the midwest, how are they different?

      • Mo-VSS

        O-State stand up!!!!! I went there too and I used to date a dude from ATL who went to Morehouse. He was always upset at thr number of white folks around. I was like “uhm, ATL and Morehouse is NOT real life.” I enjoyed my time at O-State cuz I got to learn how to “play the game…” something that a lot of folks who went to HBCU’s don’t learn. Whereas y’all learn pride in culture and stuff, we learn how to deal w/white folks in and out of corporate America.

        • themagicman

          ummmmm, i learned how to “play the game” at one of the largest fortune 500 companies in the world in about a 3 months…just another quality of an hbcu graduated – adaptability. Nonetheless, I’m happy that you got an education that you can be proud of, as I am sure that your alma mater uses your picture in most of its ‘diversity’ recruiting.

          • themagicman

            * graduate. Didn’t say we were perfect. Just said we adapted well. Ha!

          • hehe

            I am sure that your alma mater uses your picture in most of its ‘diversity’ recruiting.

            hey now don’t throw shots at PWI cause I’m sure we can through them back

          • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            “Nonetheless, I’m happy that you got an education that you can be proud of, as I am sure that your alma mater uses your picture in most of its ‘diversity’ recruiting.”

            LMAO. I guffawed.

            And yeah, kinda like how they’re used in Corporate America as well.

          • Mo-VSS

            Yeah, so that pot shot at using my picture in diversity recruiting is some bullshit! People who attended HBCU’s act like they have the lock on being proud of their alma mater. Well you don’t…so f-k you!

            And yeah, today isn’t a good day so maybe I shouldn’t comment, but dammit I will.

            • j.ivy

              soooo, Mo-Vss would you mind telling us how you REALLY feel?

        • TLC

          “uhm, ATL and Morehouse is NOT real life.”

          Ummm…Actually if you don’t leave it IS real life…white people, or diversity for that matter don’t equal real life…just ask all those white people in Utah who can count the amount of black people they have laid eyes on in their lifetime.

          • EmpressDivine

            * THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT!!!!

            *well actually good afternoon but y’all know what I’m saying…

        • 90sgagirl

          ught oh I can feel a a PWI vs HBCU debate coming—->can’t we all just be happy that we are college educated black folks?!?!

          • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

            I agree. While it is true that some of the benefits of attending a PWI vs an HBCU do differ, at the end of the day, we are all highly educated em effers. There are elements of each experience which trump those of the other; however, neither experience is “better” in its totality. They are simply different.

            • AlmightyRIo

              Well said..what school did you go to again?

              • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

                Virginia Tech. GO HOKIES!!!

                • Kema

                  My sister school! Go Rams!

          • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            “ught oh I can feel a a PWI vs HBCU debate coming—->can’t we all just be happy that we are college educated black folks?!?!”

            LOL, yup it never fails. Someone can just name-drop HBCU and PWI in a post totally about roaches doing the dougie and a debate between the schools (with blatant misconceptions from both sides) would still arise.

        • DQ

          *I enjoyed my time at O-State cuz I got to learn how to “play the game…” something that a lot of folks who went to HBCU’s don’t learn.*

          Some legends truly never die it seems.

        • Omar

          I guess at PWI’s they teach you how to draw conclusions about large portions of black people based on your experiences with just one of them. How is this any different than a white women saying “I dated a black guy once, and they are all angry”.

          [ “uhm, ATL and Morehouse is NOT real life.”]

          It actually is real life, obviously not everywhere but just because something is not the norm everywhere doesn’t make it less real.

          [I got to learn how to “play the game…” ]

          Are all the people you know from HBCU’s unemployed or something…? Because most people who live in America learn how to deal with white people; even people like me who lived and went to school with black my entire life to the point where the first time I was in a class with a majority of white people was in Graduate school. People can learn to “play the game” anywhere, college is mostly about what you learn and contrary to what they may have told you about black schools we learn the same calculus at HBCUs that people learn at Ohio State or any other PWI.

          • http://tdlove.wordpress.com Tonya

            Let’s not paint all PWI’s with the same brush stroke as the original poster did to HBCU’s.

            I think college doesn’t really teach you about life- it exposes you to life and you learn as much or as little as you are willing to open your eyes to.

            One of the big challenges in life is dealing with stereotypes and misconceptions about everybody and everything. You have to be empathetic enough to understand another POV and go from there. Whether it is surviving in a white world, corporate world, black world- I am sure there is a lot to learn from each situation.

            By the way Mo-VSS. Most of my friends who went to Grad School at Berkeley..came from HBCU’s. So I am pretty sure they learned a little something about white folks there. ;)

          • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

            People can learn to “play the game” anywhere, college is mostly about what you learn and contrary to what they may have told you about black schools we learn the same calculus at HBCUs that people learn at Ohio State or any other PWI.

            please say this AGAIN. a little LOUDER. for the PWI/ back seats.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

              “we learn the same calculus at HBCUs that people learn at Ohio State or any other PWI.”

              This is what bothers me about the fact that PWI folks try to disparage the HBCU experience. While the cultural experiences may vary, it completely unfair and irresponsible to assume that an HBCU graduate will be any less successful than a PWI graduate. One of my best friends transferred from my PWI, to an HBCU and is one of the most successful engineers I know.

            • Omar

              And this is besides the fact that anyone who works in the same field as their major knows full well that the learning done in undergrad is basic. So being all high and mighty based on an undergrad education is pointless since no one is really an expert at anything based on their undergrad degree no matter if you went to Harvard or Coppin State.

              • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

                i feel like you’re taking shots at coppin. joking lol

                • Omar

                  It’s probably subconscious, I went to Morgan State…

                • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

                  lol ok. i went to UMES

          • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

            I think what Mo was trying to say is you learn how to deal with white people. I’m sorry but ATL is it’s own little bubble. Even people from ATL tell me that. I’ve been there enough times where I can say that and stand behind it….and Morehouse? An all Black male institution where everyone has equal opportunities and are supported…this represents real life how exactly? The real world is dominated by white men. PWIs teach you their logic and how to be “competitve” in their world. I know a few people that suffered a rude awakening after leaving a HBCU and predominantly Black town. I’m not dissing HBCUs. I would have loved to gain the culture and experience but I’m not naive to what it clearly lacks and that’s a representation of what the rest of the world is really like. I mean, the whole purpose of this post is to recognize what’s “mythical” about HBCUs and vice versa. Let’s not get too defensive.

            • Omar

              Honestly, the “deal with white people” things is foolishness and assumes that, for example, white people in Boston are the exact same as white people in Texas. I have a hard time believing that if you went to school in Boston that you automatically know how to navigate in a majority white setting in Texas, either way people will have to learn to adapt.

              • Mo-VSS

                Never said people wouldn’t have to adapt. And for the life of me, I do not know why folks are up in arms about me saying that I learned to deal with different types of white folks. Because I did. Nowhere in my comment did I imply nor suggest that all white folks all over the country were the same. What I said is that I learned to deal with them in various situations and constraints.

                • Omar

                  “And for the life of me, I do not know why folks are up in arms about me saying that I learned to deal with different types of white folks.”

                  Probably because your statement implied that people with different college experiences than yours didn’t and wouldn’t.

                  “Nowhere in my comment did I imply nor suggest that all white folks all over the country were the same.”

                  The idea that you are better off in terms of dealing with white people in general implies that there aren’t very pronounced differences where white people are concerned in different areas that may be outside your experiences; for example you having dealt with a pre-dominate culture of white people from Ohio and the midwest would not mean that you would be more prepared to “deal” with white people in the DC area than say a student from Howard. So basically the implication that your experiences at a PWI make you inherently more apt to deal with white people in general (i.e. the whole country) gives a very simplified view of white people.

                  Your statement in particular: “Whereas y’all learn pride in culture and stuff, we learn how to deal w/white folks in and out of corporate America.”

                  This statement aside from being condescending, is ignorant since it assumes that we never leave campus, never interact with whites in the cities the schools are in and never work with white people whether in a part time job or in an internship, or for a number of people didn’t live around white people before they attended the HBCU in the first place.

                • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

                  Girl, I think some people need to just relax. It’s getting way over the top. I didn’t read that either. HBCU grads just go hard in the paint for their schools and get extra defensive when anything is said. I wouldn’t worry about it.

                • Mo-VSS

                  Omar, those are your hang-ups, not mine. And as such I won’t address them.

                  Oh…and NOW my position is condescending towards you.

                • Omar

                  “something that a lot of folks who went to HBCU’s don’t learn. Whereas y’all learn pride in culture and stuff, we learn how to deal w/white folks in and out of corporate America.”

                  “Oh…and NOW my position is condescending towards you.”

                  Do you actually read your words…??

                • Mo-VSS

                  I sure do read my words. Obviously your superior education prepared you to interpret my well, huh?

                  “something that a lot of folks who went to HBCU’s don’t learn. Whereas y’all learn pride in culture and stuff, we learn how to deal w/white folks in and out of corporate America.”

                  If you find offense with that statement, it’s your hang-up, not mine. When someone comes into a room and yells “Adrienne” I don’t look up because that’s not my name. Point being, if that doesn’t describe you or your experience, then why are you so defensive about it?

              • Taylormay

                kind of… for example the white folks in northern ohio (cleveland, akron…) are WAY different than the southern ones (suburbs…er trailer parks of columbus, zanesville, other villes). the southern ones have a southern/kentucky accent and are like a racist version of jerry springer mixed with raising hope mixed with roseanne.

                just like you have to interact with black folks differently based on location and culture you have to do the same with white folks

                • Mo-VSS

                  Thank you…that’s my point. Different types doesn’t mean the same. Don’t know why anyone would feel that I suggested that.

                • j.ivy

                  Couldn’t reply to Omar’s statement about oversimplifying 2520s but, they actually are pretty simple…I don’t care where you find them. When you get down to it, they’re pretty much the same…in general.

                  Also, I see here, as well as real life, HBCU grads do go hard in the paint defending the rep, but I wonder, are ya’ll goin this hard with that good old alumni giving?? (not implying you don’t, so don’t get your panties bunched up, that’s uncomfortable) And I don’t mean spending money at homecoming…

            • http://hotbiscuitsandgravy.blogspot.com Bengemin Grehe

              Cosign.

            • Mo-VSS

              Thank you SFG

            • hehe

              Thank you! I don’t have beef with HSBCU but don’t negate my PWI education as a diversity recruitment because my smart ass can take down any white person in my field. Ugh! *flip my hair*

          • Mo-VSS

            Jesus Christ…that was My experience with a man who went to Morehouse. If you don’t like it, don’t f-king comment.

          • Mo-VSS

            MY experience with a dude at Morehouse (well him and his friends and others who went to the AUC) is what got me to those conclusions. Maybe I didn’t specify SOME and not ALL, but sh*t…we’re all smart enough not to make those generalizations, or so I thought…

            Anyway, let me specify…Not all folks from HBCU’s are like that. And not all folks from PWI’s are like that. In my experience that’s what I saw so I commented as such.

          • WIP

            “and contrary to what they may have told you about black schools we learn the same calculus at HBCUs that people learn at Ohio State or any other PWI.”

            LOL, naw they teach us that black kalculus

            • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

              LMAO! I just saw this. iHatechu.

        • http://twitter.com/sweetdivalove Seti

          Yeeess! I attend Ohio State :-) There’s no place like it!
          But when I arrived I was a little jealous of my friend who decided to attend Spelman instead. She always had a story about this block party and that one Pretty Nasty party. It seemed to be one big party. I’m not saying that O-State doesn’t get down but her first year experience was very different outside the classroom.

          Although I was born in 88….I fell in love with Hillman and all it had to offer. Plus I was hoping that despite going to a PWI, I would find my Dwayne Wayne. Lol.

          • P.

            O-State definitely doesn’t get down like any of those schools, but I think that’s more of a reflection on how wack Columbus is rather than the school, but you probably know that already (unless you’re from somewhere in Ohio other than Columbus, because I noticed that people from Ohio hate their hometown but like the other cities, lol).

        • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

          ima leave this whole comment alone.

          *smh*

        • http://www.twitter.com/golden_standard Golden_Standard

          I agree with you MO-VSS. I actually turned down scholarships to a couple HBCU’s for that very reason. I grew up in a black community (the hood to be exact) and went to all black schools from headstart to high school. When it was time for me to go to college, I decided that going to a “white” school would help me learn how to interact with people who were different from me. It did; it was there I learned how it felt to be the only black person in an honors class and how you can work on a project for someone for weeks and not get invited to the after study-group “happy hour.”

          That being said, I believe that HBCU’s offer a huge advantage for black people who didn’t grow up in black communities or who haven’t been to predominately black schools. I tell peole I had a historically black life, I didn’t need a historically black college. All in all I enjoyed my college experience and I do not think I would have been as successful as I am if I had never vertured outside of my norm.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

        I went to Virginia Tech in 1991 and the black folks down there weren’t much different from the people I grew up with in NY. East coast hip-hop culture was essentially what we were all into. I went out to Coulmbus and was like, “Huh?” The black folks in the midwest seemed to relate more closely to west coast hip-hop culture. They were really into emulating the west coast way of life. They drove hoopties with big a$$ Dayton rims, they listened to MC Breed and them. When Tupac blew up, they were obsessed with him. Many of them were all about rockin bandanas and reppin thug life even though they were in school. They didn’t really party and dance. They just stood around and drank 40s and tey went cruising. It was like a scene out of Menace to Society. That was REALLY different from what we were into on the East Coast. We weren’t into any of that, at least back then.

        • http://www.shesoflyy.com Muze

          hahaha that is totally and completely the midwest “wanna be a educated thug” experience. lol

          • Humble_One

            @Muze

            “hahaha that is totally and completely the midwest “wanna be a educated thug” experience. lol”

            Growing up here you do see more ninja’s that come ffrom good families being in the street. i use to be one of them. That being said NY2VA made an interesting observation. I always wondered why some ninjas here were quick to embrace West Coast and Southern culture as their own. I never understood it. i still don’t get it. It’s like some folks here can be born and raised in the city but carry themselves and talk like they grew up in the backwoods of Mississippi.

            • P.

              Because Ohio is the South of the North.

          • http://hotbiscuitsandgravy.blogspot.com Bengemin Grehe

            I have to agree with NY2VA, tho. I went to UVA in 2001, and saw the same thing, except it was with NY and not with the West Coast. Bunch of kids from VA started dressing, acting, and talking like they were from NY.

        • Humble_One

          @ NY2VA

          I from the Midwest and I can’t say I’ve seen the same thing completely. There were folks here that totally embraced West Coast hip-hop culture which has always been weird to some of us. Those same folks that adopted West Coast hip-hop culture moved on to the South later in the decade. We don’t have the weather or environment to identify with California so i never got it. Back in the 90s you would really see this in small Midwestern cities. Detroit and Chicago must be different in that aspect. Between the movie 8 mile, and the music of Kanye and Common you can see that khaki’s and chucks weren’t the flavor.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

            That’s why it was so weird to me. At that time, the only thing I knew about the midwest hip-hop was Common, so I assumed that he reflected what cats would be like from the midwest. Fast forward a few years and here comes Crucial Conflict straight out of the Chi lol! I swear my brain almost exploded.

            • Humble_One

              @NY2VA

              I think that’s one of the biggest the differences between Black folks from Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, LA, and the South and East Coast. Your view or experience of those cities depends on who you meet from there and thats represented in the music. I haven’t seen a Crucial Conflict/Common or a Souls of Mischief/Too Short difference from Southern or East Coast artist. The closest would be Atlanta.

            • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

              LMFAO @ Crucial Conflict vs Common.

              Yeah us Chi folks are a odd species…never know what you’re gonna get. Kinda like our weather.

              • proud hbcu grad

                after having a roomie from chitown and an ex from chitown my one sweeping generalization about ya’ll is that EVERYTHING stops when the percolator comes on.

        • MP

          LOL, what you associate with the West coast, I associate with the midwest. I’m from Detroit. We made those cars, our fathers (and our grandfathers) made those cars, so of course we were driving, respecting, and appreciating them (trickin em out) as only we can. We ain’t get that car culture from the west. MC Breed was from Flint, MI, so that’s us once again. And when I got to NYC I initially was like, these ninjas don’t really party and dance, that’s why “Lean Back” was made by a NYC rapper. I will say that being in the middle, we did borrow some stuff from both coasts culture wise though. That’s also why we relate to Pac more, Pac wasn’t really East or West to me. He grew up on both coasts I think, so he was “mixed” like us.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

            That is definitely an interesting perspective that I’ve never considered. Thanks for sharing. I will have to share it with the husband and see what he thinks. I don’t think he’s ever thought about it that way either.

          • j.ivy

            Thank you for reppin and settin the record straight MP. I def have my issues with mw-erners, but yeah, err region has it’s issues. Also, as far as the South goes, many of us are second/third generation migrants from the south, so our “people” are southerners.

      • P.

        “learned that Black folks from the east coast are WAY different from our midwestern counter parts.”

        As a Maryland native and Ohio State alumnus, I discovered this in my first weekend of college.

  • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

    “When did you realize that Black folks weren’t monolithic?”

    When my best friend in high school told me she didn’t eff with chicken.

    I vaguely remember sobbing myself to sleep that night.

    • bumilla

      oh hell. this is a moment for silent prayer.

    • DQ

      *I vaguely remember sobbing myself to sleep that night.*

      Why? Had you just fried up a batch?

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        How’d you guess?!

        And I couldn’t eat it all myself because I was trying to fit in my prom dress for May.

    • WIP

      You should have checked under the skin behind her ear (ala “V”)

      • MsMelissa!

        “You should have checked under the skin behind her ear (ala “V”)”

        >_< ROFL!

      • http://tdlove.wordpress.com Tonya

        I was so sad that Elizabeth’s (yeah I am a Lost stan) baby daddy died. I cried along with her. Can’t wait for her to go kick-ass mode. And now the V princess has found her grandma!! OOOOHHHH..drama!

        • WIP

          LOL, I always call her Juliet (fellow Lost stan) with that creepy a$$ smile.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

          How dope is it that they brought back the original queen from back in the day?!?!?

  • asiah

    I attend a PWI in Indiana…I realized black people were different when I started college. There’s a lot of black people at my school that don’t acknowledge their blackness or make a big deal of it. I like to say they that they “don’t know that they’re black.” It threw me for a loop when I realized you could be black but not embrace it at all.

    sidebar – this is my first time commenting on VSB!

    • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      Welcome!! I’ve heard that too. I didn’t experience that per se..being in a predominantly white surrounding just made me feel more Black if anything. I do hear that from others though. In my school, we had 2 types of Blacks: the ones who represented and tried to embrace their culture and the ones who tried to “blend in” with the whites by embracing white culture.

      • http://hotbiscuitsandgravy.blogspot.com Bengemin Grehe

        Right, but I always thought this was dangerous.

        What exactly does it mean to embrace your culture, especially if you’re surrounded by white folks? Where do you find your blackness, and do you start living up to stereotypes?

        It’s also dangerous because you become “the black girl/boy” and represent your entire race.

        • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

          Yes but this is inevitable from both ends. You will always represent Blacks no matter what. I wasn’t stereotypical or anything. I naturally preferred R&B over rock and had a natural attraction to Black men. The Blacks who tried to alienate themselves from other Blacks or diss Black culture in the company of whites were more dangerous to me. They lost a sense of self and often times had lower self-esteem in my eyes.

      • asiah

        Thanks! Your school sounds just like my school.

      • CornFed&Bred

        Yes Yes Yes!! This was exactly how my College experience was.

        I went to two private PWI’s the midwest (Iowa–I pop in and out of this blog..I may have mentioned that a few times) The first one I started at actually had a large black populous–I guess the school would bus them in from the Chi for whatever reason..anyway, all of the black students and latinos would hangout together because most of them were from around Chicago. It was sorta the same scenario for the black students from Iowa–most of them were from the same areas (Waterloo, quad cities–the two places with the highest AA population) We thought of it as our own little “HBCU” with our “Black Student Union” organization. Even at a PWI we had the best.damn.partys. No lie.
        …that experience alone gave me exposure to the black culture i’ve never known, but always wanted being from a very small,very white rural community. Hell, even living in Iowa I wanted to go to an HBCU school..I was just to scared to move so far :-( .. and out of state tuition is too damn expensive!!
        After my Sophmore yr I transferred to a different private school closer to the capital city (Des Moines) I figured the black population would be similar but I was wrong. There might’ve been maybe 25-30 AA students on campus..MAYBE..and most of them were mo about embracing white culture as opposed to their own.
        ..none of them hung out together. It was a little weird…my “blackness” became more evident..more noticable. (If that makes any sense?) i’ll wrap it up with this: throughout my schooling i’ve always been “the token blk chick” except for my first two yr of college when I started to feel a part of something..unfortunately, I don’t know if i’ll ever be able to feel that way again. (Anytime soon) I would love to go to (or live) in Philly, ATL, somewhere-with-a-large-percentage-of-educated-black-folks-that-I-only-read-about-on-this-blog (Yeah. I’m jealous)
        …shoot, I love Iowa, I love some corn and doin’ the cupid shuffle at the country bar but i’m tired of white people asking me some patronizing -ish like “Do you know any racist white jokes..?” (GTFOH)..I love my blk people. Please come to Iowa. PPleeeeeease!..or Tell me where I should go. I’mma bout a hop, skip and a jump away from buying a randomass plane ticket somewhere beyond the golden cornfields…

        • http://www.ashy2classy.net Diggame

          Yo did you go to ISU,…lol

    • j.ivy

      hmmm, I’m from Indiana, have attended two PWIs here in Indiana, and have lived in Atlanta and the DMV. Can’t say that I’ve witnessed this. Not sayin it doesn’t exist. Which one are you at? Also, keep in mind that many of the student body is probably from IN, where there aren’t many blacks anyhow, so it could very well be that they are reflective of their environment. I’m not exactly sure how you embrace being black. I’m Black…I have mostly black friends, but some white ones as well, I like ALL types of music, most of my wardrobe is from J.Crew, Banana Republic, Nordstrom and I love Brooks Brothers’ shirts…when younger I was told I acted white, but that’s silly. I have seen many black people like myself, to a degree(i’m unique lol) on the campuses here, but not an absurd number who alienate other Blacks, but many who also don’t alienate whites.

  • http://naturallyalise.com/blog Naturally Alise

    I attended an HBCU (NCCU. Eagle Pride!!!) and I am glad I got that opportunity because I did attend all white schools my entire school career prior. I was so amazed to be around at least marginally upwardly mobile people that looked like me… however, I did attend school with a lot of “going-to-school-for-the-refund-check” Negroes, I think even one semester that was me, lol. Anyway, I loved my experience, but you are correct it did not prepare me for the particularly different world that existed post graduation. Corporate America was definitely a shell shock, but I felt that the trials and tribulations of the HBCU (i.e. the financial aid office, chicken day at the cafeteria, etc.) did prepare me for dealing with bullsh*t and general disorganization at businesses I worked for. I guess those lessons are just as important as any other… #Shrugife

    • tgtaggie

      Well…I attended the greatest HBCU in North Carolina (can I get a Aggie Pride!!!)lol. I think HBCU’s coined the termed “refund ballin”. I also think that every HBCU in NC effs up your financial aid. Those ninjas on the first floor of the Dowdy building can try a brotha’s patience.

      • http://theatypicallibrarian.wordpress.com AtypicalLibrarian

        I also think that every HBCU in NC effs up your financial aid.

        You ain’t never lied which speaks to Naturally Alise’s point that HBCU’s are great learning to deal with “…with bullsh*t and general disorganization…”

        I went to WSSU–glad to see some other NC (or at least former NC) VSBs and VSSs here.

        • WIP

          You know what, I heard to many people complain about that but I can say they actually never messed up my aid. It was always on time. Now, when I went to inquire about my aid and speak with someone- that’s when I wanted to flip some desks over and ack-a-fool-wit-it.

          • http://theatypicallibrarian.wordpress.com AtypicalLibrarian

            I guess it’s semantics. I can’t actually remember if mine was effed up per se, but I do recall a few less than pleasant visits to the financial aid office to ensure that things were as they should be. I do recall housing being messed up and standing in lines that wrapped around buildings trying to get a room on campus!

            • tgtaggie

              After they (the UNC School System) switched over to the “Banner” system. Things were a little more organized as far as: seeing grades, financial aid, registering for classes and etc. But I remember the lines for getting housing too. During that time A&T was in the midst of spending bond money to replace buildings on campus so there was a big shortage on housing.

              • http://www.ericaagordon.com Eroc

                I have been reading VSB from the start and have put all of my friends on, but I have never commented. *hanging my head in shame*

                But, although I have a ton to say on this subject (as it is near and dear to my heart), I have to run to a meeting. I will comment later. But before I leave, I just wanted to say AGGIE PRIDE!!!!!!

      • Sea Jay Bee

        Refund Ballin’ was REAL! Folks were living off-campus and driving a car (it didn’t matter then what kind) off the refund money back in my Tuskegee days.

      • Todd

        Refund ballin’? Hell, I went to a PWI in Jersey (Go RU!) and refund ballin’ was a multicultural activity. They just balled off of different stuff. The ninjas would tear one set of clubs up, the Hispanic kids would tear up another set of clubs (after getting their edge-ups right, thanks) and the White boys got 20 cases of beer and got tore up. LOL

        As for my experience, I didn’t mind going to a PWI because my educational experience was all over the map. I attended an all-Black private school, got the whole Black Pride experience young, then went to a White private school on a partial academic scholarship. That place was bugged because it was a weird mix of the Osmonds and Jersey Shore among the White kids there. (Real talk…I could have cast that show at an alumni meeting.) Then I went to a PWI which was the most diverse university in the country in that time. Plus, we had more negroes than a lot of HBCUs. It’s just that we were surrounded by 5x the 2520.

        In terms of what I wanted to do, I’m glad I attended the PWI, because of what I wanted to do after college. Heck, it was culture shock for me to go from being one of the few negroes to being the only negro in the room. An HBCU would have been cool (my bro went to the REAL HU, thank you!) but for what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, it would have held me back. College is for the education first, the social stuff second.

        And besides, observing White people in their natural habitat is interesting. The stories I could tell…

        • LSQ

          yea,
          I attended both pwi and hbcu insts (there should be SOMEONE else here that has), but before I go all obsidian (champ / pj update the VSB glossary) on this subject – I wanted to point out that there is a new category: the PWI w/LBE (predom white instit with a large black enclave). The ultra big schools (UT austin, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, OSU, UM, etc) have such big populations of students, even the small percentage of blacks there make up a large aggregate number, in some cases larger than some of the smaller HBCU’s (Huston-Tillotson, Xavier, Wiley, etc). In those cases, the folk there have similar HBCU experiences with the Large Black Enclave there, and have especially strong BGLO representation.

          If you go waaaaayyyyy back in the history of HBCU’s there is a lot to learn, and a lot of growth going on – while they were established (and funded) for admittedly nefarious reasons, they became a black culture fixture and salvation for our parents (I believe the vast majority of their generation – that were successful -went to HBCU’s) It still remains to be seen what our generation (and younger) who come from PWI’s will accomplish as the talented folk now tend to gravitate towards the PWI – unfortunately for the HBCU.

          that being said, and having attended both, its truly a very silly argument: HBCU vs PWI – every school has its own unique experiences – both good and bad – I don’t think we should even be lumping schools into the ‘PWI’ category and the ‘HBCU’ category (althoug I just did, meh) and generalizing on either one.

          peace and chicken grease

    • E.Nicole

      EAGLE PRIDE!!!

      Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way. Let me get back to reading everyone’s comments. Lol

    • WIP

      “…I felt that the trials and tribulations of the HBCU (i.e. the financial aid office, chicken day at the cafeteria, etc.) did prepare me for dealing with bullsh*t and general disorganization at businesses…”

      I agree. The frustration I experienced taught me how to be organized, keep copies, check handbooks, rules statutes, how to follow-up, follow a chain of command. If I had gone somewhere everything was handled properly I wouldn’t have half of the “get after it” that I do today, LOL.

      • whykendra

        thats what Temple should tell people. “we f*ck up to make you tough!” maybe thatll stop me from having to hurt people in financial aid office. me and my friends motto from freshman year (it took no time for us to find out) was:

        “flippin desk and bussin heads!!”

        its the only way to get stuff done in north philly.

        • WIP

          Hello. College administration will teach you about proper and timely handling of your business.

    • TheRealestLeo

      I remember one semester Howard threatened to drop my classes and not validate me for the semester because they said I owed them…..Wait for this…..

      FIFTY CENTS.

      Mind you, I was on full academic scholarship.

      FIFTY CENTS??!?!?!?!

      I almost blew a gasket when they said that ish…..

      Needless to say, that was the meanest ten nickels I ever gave someone. Yeah, I paid them in nickels, just because they wanted to be assholes like that. LOL

      • TellyLongLegs

        LMBO!!!!! 50 cents? I would’ve gave them fifty pennies.

        • TheRealestLeo

          Only reason they didn’t get 50 pennies was because I didn’t wanna do them THAT dirty. lol

      • tgtaggie

        LAMO!! Only at an HBCU where they will drop your classes for 50 cents. lol.

      • ac dubois

        aww sorry! i would lose my Jesus if they couldn’t round down my tuition for 50 cents. that experience right there is part of the love/hate relationship we have with out hbcus

        • http://www.flaglerhill.com MassAppeal

          And if all classes were dropped and you had register all over again, the only classes available were the 8am joints.

          • WIP

            if they were available at all. then you had to go around with the puppy dog eyes begging for an override.

            • http://www.flaglerhill.com MassAppeal

              Exactly

      • truthinrumors

        Same here. Scholarship with a balance of $1.77. I’ll never forget that number. That wasn’t even enough to get a smoothie from Jazmines in the A-Building.

  • Buxxy

    When did you fall in love with hiphop realize that Black folks weren’t monolithic?

    When I almost had to beat down an Iota sweetheart at a PWI for verbally trying to disrespect me. It hurt my soul to know that beyond me wanting to slap some sense and corrective life choices into her, she thought it was cool to disrespect one of the few sisters on campus actually supporting events. I honestly thought that since we were out numbered at this (or any) PWI that there would be more unity. Lies. HBCU students stick together more. True, we may fight each other… but we will ride out on outsiders for each other too. I doubt that would happen anywhere else. So yea, it took me until grad school to realize that my experience was REALLY different.

    • http://mylife-afterschoolspecial.blogspot.com H-Squared

      IDK, Buxxy…my experience was just the opposite. For the most part (with very few, but EXTREME exceptions), the black folks at the PWI I attended for undergrad stuck together quite well. We weren’t all the same, but we were the embodiment of the Diaspora, enjoying each other’s company in between academic assaults in our classrooms (“So, Ms. H-Squared, what do black people think about ________?”)

      • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

        This was my experience as well. We stuck together like glue. Hell, I dated alot of 2s back then…it was my only option. The fine brothas either dated white women or attended HBCUs. :) lol j/k

      • ac dubois

        see this is what never made sense to me. if all the black people at PWIs stuck together and only hung out together, how was that any different from HBCUs. because you get to sit in a class full of “other” people you never befriend… come on

        but from the people i know who attended PWIs the black people were really tight. can’t say more than hbcus but it definitely shocked me considering all of the diversity surrounding them

    • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

      she verbally disrespected YOU?! she generally disrespected herself being an “Iota sweetheart”

      • Buxxy

        @ H-Squared & SmartFoxGirl Don’t get me wrong, I was pretty close with a few Black folks at this PWI but for the most part, it is nothing compared to the closeness you get while attending an HBCU. My time at Hampton University was filled with students that moved as a unit. While at that PWI… I noticed the exact opposite. When we were faced with issues that could and would hurt us (Black folk) in the long run… the majority of Black students were just so relaxed and unmoved. It just made my blood boil. Maybe because I truly believe I was a Black Panther in my past life. But hey, I fully understand every experience is different. I just wouldn’t trade mine as I am sure you two wouldn’t trade yours. :)

        @Gem of the Ocean Girl… where I come from… Sweethearts are nothing more than pointless key chains given out at the end of probates. Bleh. So when I noticed she was a sweetheart trying to be rude I had to remember to just pray for her and her life choices.

      • DG

        Good post…many good points, too.

        The main difference between PWIs & HBCUs, tho??

        At HBCU football games, halftime is a wondrous and magical time filled with live music, well-chroeographed dance sequences, delectable dance teams, the occasional guest performance, and everything else under the sun. Hell, halftime is often more interesting and entertaining than the game itself.

        At PWIs???? Halftime is when you go pee-pee.

        That is all…

        • DG

          How did this end up here???

          • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            It was SO funny, it deserves to be in two places.

      • proud hbcu grad

        ha! i was thinking the same thing. well, actually i was thinking, “wtf is an iota sweetheart?!” i think we may have had 2 iotas my entire time at cau

  • hehe

    When did you realize that Black folks weren’t monolithic?

    umm I guess always since I’m West Indian living in American most of my life. I knew that Black Americans didn’t have the same culture that I have. It’s more distinct that black ppl aren’t monolithic when you go to college and meet ppl who are richer than or poorer than you. That’s an interesting mix.

    • kaname

      As a African immigrant who attended settled in NYC and attended a PWI in the Northeast, it was a much different experience than being an African-American attending a PWI in the Northeast- different mindset and expectations. I didn’t know that HBCU’s really existed until college app time >__> so I had/have no assumptions about HBCU’s per PJ’s question.

    • D’Lady

      I totally agree with you. I attend a PWI in Nashville, TN and black southerners are definitely different from my diverse clique of friends from NY. Most times it feels like its Us (Caribbean or African cultural students) v. Them (Black Southerners). Not to mention the difference in music. When I entered undergrad, the height of musical sophistication was snap music and Soulja Boy. Sorry…but where was my Blazin’ Hip Hop n RnB (Hot 97) and dancehall. For the most part, I spent most of the time trying to make it through some of the indiscernible Southern lyrics. sigh ;/

      • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

        nashville? belmont? lipscomb?

        • MsEvaBaby!

          *waves my TSU and VAndy flags* I miss Nashville le sigh

          • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

            gotcha. where are you now? because you can definitely trade places with me. nashville is the pits. lol

            • MsEvaBaby!

              Where are you in school at?

              • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

                Meharry

  • http://eboneeyes.wordpress.com eb

    I quickly learned that my HBCU was most def NOT a party school nor did I get “turned out” like the skeptics who didn’t even go to a college period thought….lol.however, u could call ol boy from dixon or stewart dorm that had that foreman grill and get a $5 plate!!!…lol. Education causes hunger…ya gotta eat! “Jackson fair, Jackson dear…”

    • http://naturallyalise.com/blog Naturally Alise

      I ran a Foreman grill racket with my roommate and best friend, we would have salmon and all types of sh*t that we “borrowed” from our part time jobs. I made a killing selling plates and braiding dudes’ hair (my college years were the height of the cornrow fad), I was an entrepre”negro” fo shio Hey I was a Business major, lol

      • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

        you had me at “Foreman grill racket”

      • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

        this is similar to something me and my roommate did. back when people actually bought CDs we would somehow get advanced copies (napster?) and sell CDs. we had flyers around campus. we made any CD you wanted.

        • http://hotbiscuitsandgravy.blogspot.com Bengemin Grehe

          how much you sell ‘em for? The NY’ers at my school made sure to be the main hustlers on campus.

          • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

            we sold 1 for $5 or 2 for $8

            • http://eboneeyes.wordpress.com Eb

              lol!!! i think we all had a “CD man”…lol. did u carry ur cd’s around in a binder with a selection sheet?

    • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

      My roommate and I used to get food stamps, so there was always an abundance of extra food money in our household. When I got engagaed, I decided to have a fundraiser to help pay for the wedding. My roommate and I bought $200 worth of food and sold dinners for $5 a plate and slices of cake and potato pie for $1. It was NFL draft day, our school had a good number of prospects so everyone was glued to their TVs and they were hungry. We had delivery service and everythang! The kicker was when nuckas were calling us the next day to purchase the leftovers. Lawd Jesus, we made a KILLING that day.

      • Sea Jay Bee

        I am impressed by you and your room mate’s hustlenomics!

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        This is dopeness.

      • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

        NY2VA, i hate that i love you

        • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

          LOL!!! We were some entreprenegroes that day. People still talk about it almost 15 years later.

  • Deviant

    I made the assumption that college professors everywhere spoke some form of pidgin English (including “Ebonics” and Old Negro Spiritual).

    I had maybe 5 white American instructors in the 7+ I put in for under/grad.

    • Deviant

      I also learned that our drinking games are waaaay more “purposeful” than beer pong.

      • Rae

        seriously. I never played beer pong at my hbcu. We took shots of straight liquor & kept it moving in a semistraight meandering line

        • DQ

          Here Here. Who the hell has time for beer pong? Let’s hit these shots and see what the evening is hitting for

          • WIP

            Exactly. Sit in a circle, drink, tell secrets, see who hooks up and who falls alseep. Game over.

          • TheRealestLeo

            On a side note, beer pong seems to be the official party game of the military.

            #iCan’t.

            Who wants to drink a beer after a ping-pong ball that has bounced off of walls, tables, and THE FLOOR/GROUND has been in it?

            Where’s the spades/Bid Whist games at? (Yes, I used the preposition on purpose.)

            • WIP

              I’ve played so many games of Bid Whist and Spades (and every variation: “everyman”, “cut throat”, “strip”, etc.) I coulda got a degree in that sh*t too. Or at least some type of certification. 1000 field hours. We really should have started a local league or something.

              • TheRealestLeo

                Ain’t this the truth. I got so bored with spades that I started inventing new things to do in the game. Like actually leading the Queen from an Ace-Queen split instead of waiting on it to be played into you. Or running trump from the jump so that the last 8 books are an off-suits fight. Or intentionally throwing away books to sandbag your opponents. Or…..(this used to really piss my friends off when it worked)…..between me and my partner, only ONE of us would bid each hand. We’d guess how many books our partner had and run it from there.

                Then there’s always this convo:

                “How many you got?”
                “I got like three and a pop…”
                “I got four and a pop….”

                *Pause for effect*
                *Both of us at the same time* “Ten….” lol

                • LSQ

                  we have got to play some spades!!!! dang I miss that – we need a black folk shit talking internet spades app – it ain’t no fun unless you can talk that smack.

                • TheRealestLeo

                  By the time you read this, someone will have invented it for the iPhone/Pad/Pod. lol

        • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

          we used to have power hours.

      • proud hbcu grad

        i never even heard of beer pong until jimmy fallon battled betty white in a beer pong match. i don’t even think i drank beer the entire time i was in college. freshman year, it was all about md2020 and in a few times of desperation, that other kool-aid colored drank (the name escapes me now). but then again, i’m from nola, so drinking a beer is like drinking h20 to us

        • Deviant

          Cisco… the cocaine of liquor

          • proud hbcu grad

            YES~ cisco it was. i just got an intstant hangover seeing the name

    • http://naturallyalise.com/blog Naturally Alise

      LAWD, I had so many African or “Ebonesian” professors fluent in Liquor House English… aso had a lot of Indian (dot, not feather) professors as well…

  • coloredGirl

    I dunno… I went to a PWI… like a real PWI, there were only a few spots of color. But my friends and I did all of the things on your list too… except that take 7yrs to graduate thing, private colleges are too expensive for that ish…

    • Honey

      yeah, i went to a pwi too- a pretty presitgious one- and most of the things on his list were the same for my school

    • Geneva Girl

      People can take forever at PWIs too. I went to Penn, which is waaay expensive. There was a brother who was a junior when I arrived as a freshman and was a junior when I graduated. I was surprised at how many black folks took forever to graduate. Some stopped out for a while, but hung around campus. I couldn’t understand that either. I had to graduate a year early because we couldn’t afford that fourth year!

      • whykendra

        same at Temple. freshman year they were a senior, senior year…still there. temple’s not that expensive (yet) but to graduate in four years is def an accomplishment. you dont see it as often as youd think.

    • WIP

      I did know some career students; I actually don’t know anyone that went the straight 4 years or less. Not necessarily because they were doing bad either. Everybody, at some point, felt like they needed a semester off. Many of us needed a time to rethink what we were majoring in and what we really wanted to do. I took an extra half myself.

      • TheRealestLeo

        Hell, I’m still trying to work those details out, hence in part the reason I’m doing what I’m doing now. I will be back, though. Getting an engineering degree has been my goal in life since I was eleven.

      • whykendra

        I wish would’ve had that reflective break early on, because I really would have done a different major. Smh.

    • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      Yep U of M is expensive as hell. You buy your way in and get the hell out before mommy and daddy start demanding you pay for your own classes. lol