Being Black in a Christian College — It wasn’t all bad.
In the previous posts there was clearly pain with attending the Christian university that I graduated from. I will continue that conversation. However, it wasn’t all bad. I think it is important to recognize that.
When I got to college I found it was my time to shine. My time to shed my shyness and actually speak and do and be a part of the world around me. I made multiple friend groups. I could be found just about anywhere except that grandpappy’s hood apartment.
I was never cool. Still not quite sure about it. I have always been someone people at least didn’t mind me being around. So I took advantge of those moments. If people were going out of town, going on an adventure of any kind, I was going. I’d jump in anybody’s backseat. In hindsight I should’ve found a few naughty types to actually use the backseat.
The first weekend post parents dropping us off I jumped into two different cars. One car my friend and I got in the backseat of a two door sedan. I was giddy and excited to get off campus at night. We were going to Steak and Shake because all the cool college, rather Christian college kids hung out at the Steak and Shake. On our way there my friend leans over and says, “remind me to tell you why this was a bad idea”.
We went and stayed out until just before curfew which I believe on the weekend was midnight, because sinning only happens after midnight. Anyway, we were loud eating fries and shakes. I was the only Black student in our booth but there may have been a few others in the restaurant. We always recognized each other even if we weren’t hanging out. Come to think of it, that’s just what WE do. Always recognize when another of us is in the room.
When we returned back to campus, as we were walking into our dorm, my friend said, “never get in the backseat of a two door car with just dudes”. Ever since then I’ve always been a no thank you I don’t want the backseat of any two door no matter who was driving.
I identify as awkward. I know it and I embrace it. Somehow, I would end up feeling okay just talking to others. My first roommates were a year older and from the islands so they were my roommates for one semesters. After that they moved to the apartments and that’s when the fun happened for me. I would go over to the apartment and my Bahamian roommate would cook. Conch fritters (my personal fave), tamarind sauce, little pie things, all kinds of things I was unfamiliar with. We fought a lot but we truly loved each other. So I traveled to the Bahamas between my freshman and sophmore year for a much needed vacation.
Yeah, my freshman year was very difficult aside from race. 9/11 happened and that Friday my grandmother collapsed and eventually died a few days later. Then when school ended for the summer my pop-pop died a few weeks after being home. So I was dealing with a lot in the early college years.
Since I was a freshman living my dorm and the school had a lot of fun activities. I went white water rafting once and I do not know how to swim, so I was terrified. I didn’t need my friend to whisper in my ear why that was a bad idea, but I did it anyway, and I believe I’m still alive writing this. Can ghost actually be ghost writers?
I have very few photos from back in those days. I do have some memories. Even in my missery I still had light shining on me and beaming out of me. There is more to tell about the good and I will. But for now know that it wasn’t all bad. It may have been the most wholesome of crazy college stories because we weren’t allowed to drink and sex and whatever. Not that that stopped those determined, those like me were on the straight and narrow still laughing and living.