Ok, now that Howard's Homecoming weekend has come to a close. I feel like I need to set the record straight.
By now, I'm pretty sure that you all have read the article on verysmartbrothas.com, "Dear Howard Homecoming: I Hate You." If not, quick summary: people who attended Predominantly White Institutions (aka PWIs) hate on Howard homecomings because they'll never have the same experience at their own college. (Btw...I love these guys. They are HILARIOUS. Check em out when you get a chance).
Though, I understand that this may be a popular opinion and of course it makes all my Howard U alumnus friends smile to know that they are the envy of all of their PWI friends, there isn't an ounce of hate in me for Howard University OR their homecoming.
I'm actually pretty excited whenever I go to Howard University events and see the pride and the love they have for their university. I appreciate it. It makes me appreciate the fact that we all made it to a school and graduated. Look, mama, we made it!
Neither my mother or my father graduated from college. I'm just glad that they both had sense enough to encourage me to go and finish. So, I didn't think twice about attending when I received my acceptance letter in the mail from my medium-sized PWI back in 2004.
No, we don't have this big weekend for homecoming. No, our game isn't very well attended. In fact, in the ten years that I've been affiliated with my school, I can count on one hand how many football games I've been to (okay - maybe two hands but that's 'cause I love football). Many things have changed since I graduated but during my days, many of the students commuted and the weekends were a little less than exciting on our campus.
But, it wasn't the football games or the homecoming parades that make me proud of my alma mater. It is the memories I made within the walls of my dorm rooms. Or in the social circles I created in the student union, or the BSU office or my classroom. It was the unity amongst Black people on our campus. It was collaborating with different multicultural groups to throw events. It was the high you got the day after putting on an amazing event.
THAT is what made me proud to be an alumna of my PWI.
When I think about my alma mater - I think of all of the relationships that spawned from my time there. Good and bad. I think of all of the amazing people that are doing amazing things in this world who have degrees from MY school. When I see bumper stickers and license plates - I get just as excited as any Howard U alumni.
It takes a special person to walk onto a predominantly White campus, from a predominantly Black community, and excel. Where most of the time, I was the only Black person in my class - so I had to represent us all for 50 minutes.
Hell yea I'm proud of that. And I'm proud of my brothers and sisters who attended HBCUs. I'm proud of us all. We did it.
And continue to do it. #educatedandBlack