According to Janelle Farris, who graduated from Spelman with honors and later earned a masterâ€™s degree from Harvardâ€™s John F. Kennedy School of Government: I graduated from college a woman with strength to stand up for myself and to recognize that even in places where I am â€œotherâ€ I am not a negative but a vital part of the American fabric.
Attending Spelman helped me to become a womanwith more to contribute than society sometimes wants to understand. My history and my ancestry are honorable and given the opportunity and encouragement to succeed, my black sisters and I may surpass any expectation.
Although there are added questions that parents and students of color should ask of the schools being considered, in other respects, the issues you face as a parent or student of color are identical to those faced by white parents and students.
Assisting your son or daughter in finding a college that is right for him or her requires attention to the details, the minutiae that in the end determine whether your child has a positive, negative, or undistinguished college experience
I chose to go to Spelman because I thought it would be a place where skin color wouldnâ€™t be an issue. In a place where everyone is black, I could be free to learn about myself and make friends without unwritten rules about racial divides that I did not understand. That thought turned out to be my reality in the black oasis I found in Atlanta.
Although I admit that there were other color lines to learn and try to understandâ€” bright skinned versus darkâ€”I mostly avoided that challenging divide and found a home within myself and in my school. Regarding the social scene at Spelman and other historically black colleges and universities, parents should know that as at any American university, drinking, drug use, and parties are a part of the experience.
That said, the research suggests that student alcohol and drug use at both public and private historically black colleges and universities tends to be lower than drinking and drug use in the college student population overall.
As far as academics and teaching, many of the Native American tribal colleges and the nationâ€™s public and private historically black colleges and universities are special places where faculty take a profound interest in all of the students, including those who show only a limited desire to succeed academically.
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.
small, mostly She also recalls Spelman offering her a comfort level she does not believe she would have found at a white New England college. Spelman College is one of four schools that make up the Atlanta University Center. Students are able to take classes at any one of the four Center schoolsâ€”Morris Brown, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman, and Morehouse. So, although Spelman is a school for women, classes are typically coeducational, and the atmosphere isnot gender-segregated. Continue reading →
The goals of this section are quite modestâ€”to present some resources parents and students of color may want to consider when applying for college. Today and in the future, people will be more diverse racially and culturally than at any other time in history. Many colleges today have a diversity coordinator, and many schools have administrative offices of minority affairs. Continue reading →
College gives you a unique opportunity to interact closely with people whose experiences and outlook are different from your own. Many colleges try to attract students who represent the diversity of our population. The diversity of students at many public colleges tends to be similar to the diversity of the nearby population. Continue reading →
Viewbook. May also be called a bulletin; an overview booklet that provides general information about the college, usually with photographs; helps you decide whether you want to learn more about the college. Continue reading →