Move-In day is literally just a few hours away and I cannot wait to meet and see everyone in HU’21. I mean yes our incoming class is ridiculously large and yes not everything is totally together…yet, but to think that for these next four years I will be constantly surrounded by black aspiring scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, respected professors, medical doctors etc. makes me shiver.
I love it.
I have had people make comments along the lines of, “Well Howard is not diverse” and “Considering that Howard is an HBCU, won’t it be boring for you if everyone there is like you?”.
While Howard is a Historically Black University, understand that “blackness” and that people of African descent all over the world are in no way homogeneous. The variation of our people sees no end! From our cultural backgrounds I will be surrounded by Africans, Caribbeans, Black people from all over the United States, Afro Latinos etc. everyone from the Diaspora will be in attendance and I am here for it; not to mention the variety of knowledge, styles, and overall social aspects. Well known author, and Howard alumnus, Ta Nehisi Coates, describes the spirit of life at Howard University during an interview on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman where he discusses his book titled Between the World and Me:
“And really what it showed me is, even within what seems like a narrow band, which is to say, you know, black life, is in fact quite cosmopolitan, is in fact a beautiful, beautiful rainbow. And to see all of these people, you know, of all these different persuasions, and to have that heritage —you know, Toni Morrison went to Howard. Amiri Baraka went to Howard. Lucille Clifton went to Howard. Ossie Davis went to Howard. And I was aware of that when I was there.”
See the rest of the interview: “Between the World and Me”: Ta-Nehisi Coates Extended Interview on Being Black in America
Did I mention the legends that have gone into Howard University and claimed it as their home? Yes. From Kwame Ture to Phylicia Rashad the greats have been here for either schooling, teaching, speaking, or affiliation purposes and we will be apart of that legacy.
Howard is a place where we will gain knowledge of our history in a sphere of consciousness without having to feel like we are trying to “represent the race”. The way we look at the world and every societal construct will be through the lens of Black humanity without having to feel like we must default to the majority interpretations of history through a white focused lens. It is a place where I know I will experience dramatic growth and make connections that will last a lifetime. At Howard I will have (and already do) have professors that I will consider as my personal mentors and will maintain constant connection with them for advice, guidance, and instruction. (I’ll write an article detailing my summer bridge experience with my fellow Bison STEM Scholars!)
I am content, eager, and determined to hit the ground running to reap the most out of these next four years.
There will be challenges but with hard work and support, watch this sis grow.
“H U YOU KNOW!”