At some urban campuses located in largely minority communities, minority students have been known to complain about being stopped by campus police just because they are of color. Even at small rural colleges, in recent years there have been several incidents in which an African American student was falsely accused by campus or local police of some criminal offense or another.
Such events can undo in a short time the major strides a campus has made in creating a more tolerant or welcoming environment. Janelle Farris explains her choice of Spelman as follows: Growing up in Seattle, I was frequently the only African American in my class.
The comments and questions that my grade school classmates innocently and not-so-innocently asked were the stuff of difference; they were the root of my understanding that being black made me something â€œotherâ€ and that â€œotherâ€ was not necessarily a good thing in white society. â€œHow come your braids move like that?
Do you wear hair spray?â€ and â€œWhy did God make you black?â€ are just a couple examples of my early childhood education.High school brought new challenges. Having been the only black for so many of my early years, I was now too â€œwhiteâ€ for my â€œbrothers and sistersâ€ and too black for the white students. Dating was not something that came easily; a basketball playing tomboy, I was uncomfortable with racial lines drawn without my understanding and uncomfortable with myself in the flirty world of teenaged girls.