“Oh, look at you. Dating a nice dark skinned boy. I never expected that you would.” The first time I heard this from a close friend of mine, I was surprised. Naturally, she probably expected me to smile and laugh it away, but all I could manage at the time was an awkward smile. It was not something that I expected to hear on a college campus, let alone hear from a friend.
The title may look a little silly, and I feel silly for even writing it. But I think this a conversation that needs to take place at HBCUs and not for the reason you may think. This conversation does not need to happen so that all the white faculty members can be fired and be replaced by black faculty members. This conversation needs to happen because we need to dispel the myth that Black professors are more suited to teach at an HBCU based on the color of their skin.
Recently, actress Taraji P. Henson was quoted in an article saying that she would send her son to an HBCU, like Howard University, so that he would avoid “racial profiling.” In an article on the Essence website, Henson described two separate incidents in which he son was racially profiled by campus police on two separate university campuses. So, to avoid that from happening again, she decided that she is sending her son to a black college.
Interracial has seemed to become synonmous with “white” for many of my friends. The music that I like, the books I read, and even the clothes I wear are considered “white.” I thought that I would escape this idea of being “white washed” in college, but it has seemed to follow me even into my adult years.