White Student Black School?
March 30, 2012 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Do you or anyone you know have personal experience as a Caucasian attending an historically Black college/university? African-Americans who work at or who have graduated from such institutions are also free to weigh in on the experiences of any White students/classmates they may have had.

Mrs. Lodie6 would like to get her MSW from Morgan State University. Mrs. Lodie6 also happens to be very White. She is primarily interested in Morgan because the mission and goals of the program align closely with her anticipated career path. In case it matters, Mrs. Lodie6 is in her mid-30's and has a professional job working in the district office of Baltimore City Public Schools. She has no concerns about attending Morgan, but I think that hearing about other people's experiences might be beneficial. Anyone who has personal experience with the program or people who have graduated from it are also welcome to chime in about the program itself, although it really does seem to offer exactly what she's looking for. Thanks!
posted by lodie6 to Education (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This previous question is obviously not exactly analogous, but may have some applicable information.
posted by supercres at 8:59 AM on March 30, 2012

I'm black and, although I didn't attend an HBCU, I have several friends and family members who did. My observation is that, at least at the undergraduate level, white students at HBCUs enjoy a sort of celebrity status ... as in: "How cool must you be to hang out here with us."

I imagine the students in graduate programs are a bit more mature so I doubt your wife will be Cool White Student but in a city as diverse as Baltimore, she's also not likely to be the only non-black student. I think she'll be fine ... especially since she'll share an appreciation of the pedagogical philosophy with the other students. Good luck to her.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 10:35 AM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

A white friend of mine attended Alabama A&M. He had a good experience, though his fellow students were understandably curious about "the old white hippie-looking dude" in their classes.

And now as an alumni, he gets discount tickets to the annual Alabama State/Alabama A&M football game ("The Classic"), which is pretty much the Most Fun Thing Ever.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:55 AM on March 30, 2012

I'm a Caucasian girl from NC, and my mother went to a HBU (N.C. Central) back in the 80s to pursue a Bachelor's in nursing. As I recall, she chose the school because its nursing department had a great reputation, and it was one of the few state universities that made the forward-thinking choice to offer evening/weekend classes for working students. My mother was already employed full-time as a nurse and had two small children (my brother and me). Sometimes we'd have to go to campus with her if she had to take an exam on the weekend or make a special trip to the library or whatever. It took her several years to finish (full-time work! small children!), so I got lots of opportunities to hang around the campus while she worked. At that time, white students were a teeny-tiny minority, but my mother never made a thing of the fact that she was one of a handful of non-black students attending the university, and my memories of times spent in the library there or sitting on a bench outside on a sunny day are all happy ones. Positive experience all around.
posted by little mouth at 11:18 AM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Honestly, no one will care.
posted by spunweb at 11:26 AM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hi Lodie6 - just memailed you.
posted by anitanita at 11:44 AM on March 30, 2012

A white guy interviewed in one of David Wallechinsky's books went to a HBC. One of his black professors told him: "I always know when one of my pink babies cuts class"( this was in the late 60's/early 70's).
posted by brujita at 3:04 PM on March 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had several white friends in Durham who got grad degrees at NC Central. Although white folks in the undergrad majors remain rare, I knew white folks in grad school for jazz, teaching, library school,and several in law school, and the impression I got was that the graduate programs looked like most other smaller public school graduate programs in terms of diversity.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:33 PM on March 30, 2012

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