I know this isn’t Standard American English, but ain’t y’all tired?
Tired of what you may ask?
Ain’t you tired of black folk always shaming other BLACK folk?
Here’s why I am speaking about this:
At some point, you just become tired of listening to the news and hearing the travesty that hits the streets day in and day out. But the crime I’m discussing is just as heinous as Charlottesville.
When people use events like Charlottesvile to push the notion that students at Historically White Institutions (HWIs) should go to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), that is just plain sad. This debate is always a common topic amongst adolescents in higher education. But, this same conversation was used in the negative instead of the positive.
African- American ancestors fought to be able to obtain higher education anywhere they can. And yes, HBCUs were started to allow these students the opportunity. But, realistically, why should I choose an HBCU? My mom is graduate of Tuskegee University, but that financial aid package did not look pretty when we got it. One HBCU did not even send my entire financial aid package until AFTER I started classes at a completely different school. I also did not feel like the campuses I visited were a place that I could call home.
I’m not going to sit here and act the HWIs have impeccable histories because they don’t, my own school included. Buildings are named after people that would not necessarily stand for certain rights that I, as a minority, have today. But I will say is that they moved forward. January 9, 1961 was when UGA became integrated by Mrs. Charlayne Hunter- Gault and the late Hamilton E. Holmes and since then, the African- American population has risen 12% of the student body. That 12% is about 4, 560 students on this campus, which would be considered a medium- sized HBCU.
HBCUs are vital for American history and the African- American identity, but when did shaming students for attending an affordable institute of higher education become a thing? I love being black and have never had an identity crisis when it came to understanding my culture, but ain’t y’all tired of having to defend your choice? College is EXPENSIVE, and when I talk to high school students, I tell them sometimes you gotta follow the money. That may even include the one with the least amount of loans.
So, ain’t y’all tired of being separated over minute things like school choice? Ain’t y’all tired of these non- people of color disrespecting who your people are, regardless of where they went to school?
HBCU students could learn something from POCs at HWIs. We know how they operate because we share classes and dorms with them. We know how to decipher behaviors that you may not recognize. Shoot, many of us are so good at code- switching by now that we forget that we’re even doing it.
For the people that will down my choice of college, ain’t you tired of arguing with someone who supports HBCUs and gives back monetarily as well? Ain’t you tired of not knowing how to deal with “those people” when you enter the job force? Ain’t you tired of using serious issues that affect the safety of our people as means to push an agenda that is not relevant? Ain’t you tired of ignoring the fact that we both getting a degree and trying to succeed?
At the end of the day, in their eyes, we’re both the same.