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Quarterlife Queer

A never ending story

I had the pleasure to hear Nikki Giovanni speak tonight at the university that I attend. I have to say that it was a wonderful experience, she is an amazing writer and a great speaker (not to mention very down to earth and outspoken). But I was kind of disappointed with the audience. For the most part there were more older members of the community and young white students than black students. That made me a little worried.

After I was reminded me that the campus is less than 10% black I had to remember that I wasn’t at TSU anymore. I had to remember that I was at a university that had little sense of community among any groups, let alone blacks. I had to remember that I was on a college campus who’s motto seemed to be “get in, get out” as far as being on campus goes. I had to remember that the communication on this campus was limited to emails nobody reads and ads on the last page of the newspaper that nobody ever got to because none read past the sports section. I had to remember all of that.

But I had to ask if the real reason wasn’t that the students are uninformed about events but that black college students, especially those attending HWCUs ( and more important the phenomena that is MY HWCU ), are just so out of touch that they don’t see the importance in who she is or what she has to say. I watched a few of her videos on Youtube and the comments people made were ridiculous. Calling her “ignorant” and ” out of touch” for her opinion on Bill Cosby and Condie Rice. All I can think about is our future if people my age and younger are so blind to whats really going on that we hang on to the words out of Cosby’s mouth because we grew up with him as the model parent on TV. Are we that brainwashed that we can’t think outside the box? And even if you do support him, are we that close-minded that we can’t acknowledge that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, especially people that have been on this earth longer than we have and seen so much more.

I want to yell out. What is wrong with students around my age? Why don’t they have the same fire in their guts as the young soldiers marching in the streets 40 years ago? Why isn’t my generation outraged with all that is going on in this world? (ok..i know there are PLENTY of us out there..I’m not hopeless just disillusioned by the people at THIS school)

Tonight I officially missed TSU. I officially missed the gym that would have been packed standing room only, filled with students from all the local colleges and people that she taught and went to Fisk with. I missed the group of people that held a sit-in freshman year to prevent the Africana Studies department from being cut in half. I missed the teachers that would cancel their classes during the time a great speaker came so that everyone could attend. I miss the urgency in every issue, address what you don’t like.. have a forum…have a spontaneous debate in the court yard or class about it..get so mad you make an appointment with the president… start an organization against it( or for it).

As much as I am happy to be away from the administration’s disorganization and the homophobic south, I miss a school that trained leaders and independent thinkers. Which is opposite of the school I am in now that teaches careers.

How can you have an institution with no community?

I don’t know whether to be sad for my generation or for the students at this school… But I do know that I am thankful to have attended a school for undergrad that taught me how important it is to pay attention.


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