About Young BW Determined to Live Well
After being a faithful reader of various blogs dedicated to positively influencing black women, I recognized quite a few young black women in their teens, 20's, and 30's who were touched by the message as much as myself. This blog is my attempt to reach out and connect with young black women on issues we may be facing at a very transitional time in our lives. I encourage all, irrespective of age, class, origin, etc. to participate in the discussions and brainstorming sessions we have. I look forward to the potential of this blog and hope to hear from Young Black Women Determined to Live Well like myself!
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Strategies to Enhance Visibility on Campus: YOUNG BW FRIENDLY!
Hi Lovlies! I decided to post a comment made on the blog: Black Women's Interracial Relationship Circle. The article addressed the state of young black women on college campuses. I am going to try and add more things to this piece with time but decided to post in a hurry. Please take what you can use and discard the rest. Any questions, feel free to send them my way in comments.
This post is something I can definitely relate to as I attended a PWI and could not for the life of me figure out how to break into the general student body. Granted, my experiences are mine alone, but I guarantee there are a great number of black girls dealing with this in college. I tried several things to try and break into the mold:
1) I would have my dining hall dinners alone in the hopes of meeting other students and striking up random conversation.
2) I would do some of the social events my school would routinely email us through the listserv about what was happening on campus
3) I would make it a point to sit next to people I did not know, particularly non-bm and strike up a conversation about interest or class in general.
4) I would show up to off campus parties with a close girlfriend that also lived off campus and was rooming with other girls (non-bw).
5) I would hang out in the library on my own, or in the student union where I knew other people would be.
6) I would show up to the social nights at the local club (on-campus) when they had Salsa Night and Techno night. Nevermind hiphop night because I would be rejected and offended all the time lol. miss me with that.
7) I would try to hang around the law school on campus (they weren't too hung up on the interracial thing as some of the undergraduate non-bm would appear in my opinion.)
8) One night, I was bold enough to dress up and literally walk around each dorm to the parties on campus on a Friday and literally walk in (without knowing a soul lol) and I got plenty of male attention from the non-bm.
All in all, I made an effort. I did not have much luck despite my efforts though. Here is the take-away for me or what I think may have been a better strategy if I could do it again:
1) Do not immediately involve yourself in the "black" things/clubs. Because I did not know how to get past this racio-misogynistic barrier that seemed to only leave me out as a black woman, I naturally went where it seemed I would easily be accepted. I was a leader in the clubs and spent a lot of time around the black students. However, this only remains pleasant if you accept the invisible status. Once you start to show hints that you will date outside your race, you become outcasted. If you only cultivate relations with the black students, once they leave, it is hard to formulate bonds with the non-black students as time goes by. Everyone starts to have their "clique" and don't feel the need to introduce a newbie.
2) Do everything you can to find one or two hobbies or interests that line up with meeting potential suitors and friends. I started rock climbing toward the end of undergrad. Tons of opportunity right under my nose, yet I knew nothing about it until I actually went out and sought it myself.
3) Try to find a likeminded friend. I had two girlfriends that really made my time in undergrad enjoyable. They were just as open to new things as I was and provided a great tag along to social events where you might feel funny being the only bw and somehow feel strange, while the "black dude" seems to always be considered "cool" lol.
4) Do not acknowledge bm on campus if they do not acknowledge you. In other words, your concern as a black girl on campus is your well-being separate and apart from the general body of bm. It may sound crass, but once you put them on ignore, and do things for your sole happiness, fulfillment, and upward mobility, you reap the benefits as being better accepted in the general student body. In my opinion, the bm on campus were in many ways an obstruction from bw being apart of the social body of the school. Once you removed the undeserving bm from the equation, others started to embrace. Sounds weird, but I believe there is some major truth to this.