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


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.