Thriving or Surviving: A Discussion on Black Student Success in PWIs

Black students in predominantly white institutions are, often, discussed in literature as objects of struggle amongst their white counterparts. Their experiences are reduced to micro-aggressions, theories of assimilation, and conflict avoidance, just to name a few. While all of these elements play a role in the minority experience within a PWI, they should not be the only lenses through which black students’ narratives are analyzed. Many black students within predominantly white institutions are excelling on their campuses; whether it is the captain of a team, a research assistant, resident advisor, or the coordinator of a volunteer group, these students are … Read more

President William Compares Blacks and Jews (Oy Vey)

In 2015, racist posts were made targeting black students on several campuses, including ours, on the anonymous app Yik-Yak. The Huffington Post wrote an article shortly after asking 3 Presidents of private liberal arts colleges to speak about what they’ve learned from recent student activism around race. President John Williams was one of those three Presidents. President Williams represents the Muhlenberg campus in everything he does, something that inherently comes with the title of “President.” This power and representation may be the only things many may see about Muhlenberg, therefore, the small statements he may make here and there come … Read more

black and queer, and here – even if they don’t always see us

One of my favorite topics that we’ve covered in this course thus far is the creation of counter-spaces. I am intrigued by this concept because I have created these spaces for myself at Muhlenberg without knowing that it had a name attached to it. What is more, it intrigued me to know that counter-spaces are something students of color across the country are constantly creating for themselves. I think my interest lies in the naming of these spaces, as well as, the perception of these spaces by students in the majority body (i.e. white students). But, in learning the language … Read more

Multiracial Marginalization

In recent years, the number of multiracial students as increased drastically. Since the year 2000, the number of people who identify as mixed-race has grown by 35 percent, according the Census Bureau (Saulny, 2011). However, on many college campuses, it seems as though their existence is quite unknown. There are multicultural affinity groups for those identify as Black, Asian, and Latina. It has been shown in research that a fairly common theme to pop-up for this population of students who identify as mixed race is for them to monoracialized, or for one or more of their identities to be lost … Read more

An Open Letter to My “White” Black Friend

It is very easy, I’ve found, to look out and look around and see behaviors and interactions that are silently swept into the cyclical system that White supremacy has made out of our country. It is valuable as it is easy to analyze and self-educate in response to these observations. A habit equally if not more valuable to the resistance to oppressive systems, however, is the ability to look inward to analyze and learn from one’s own behavior. In practicing this, I am writing an open letter to one of my best friends from home. We’ll call him James for … Read more

Phenotypes & Stereotypes

I drive three hours almost every weekend to go home to my family, and lately I’ve been listening to podcasts to help pass the time, namely RadioLab. I came across an episode from season five simply titled “Race.” There are a lot of interesting stories featured under this topic, but one in particular has kept me thinking long after listening to it. There has been this trend circling around the internet where people reveal the results of a DNA test that tells them what percentage of their genes are specific to other people living in certain regions. For example, if … Read more

Racist Comments in the Public Eye and How We Deal with Them

There are moments when a comedian goes from funny to offensive, or an ordinary college student goes from innocent and ordinary to an ignorant offender of a racist action. These are pivotal moments, because the way the world and those involved choose to respond can make all the difference of how the racial discourse continues on. Melissa Villaseñor was recently announced as the first Latina cast member of Saturday Night Live, and will start her first season on the show this fall. This was a great step forward for the show, adding some diversity and representing people of more racial … Read more