Being a White Student at a Historically Black College

I know College is really about getting
an education but here you can get like an education academically as well as
education through life also so much of it is that Brotherhood component that I
thought was it was rare and so when it came time to apply to schools did you
apply anywhere else or no more houses at the only school that I applied to walking down Brown Street and having
people acknowledging you and affirming you that’s something that if they do
here and I love that try to culture shock southern hospitality is a
beautiful thing students here they are extremely hardworking and creative we
produce more black attorneys we produce the most black doctors anybody around
you they’re black students they’re black artists this place is secret I think
this is a safe space for black students and this school was gonna challenge me
in ways that I probably would not have gotten at other institutions and if we
had white people just come in here I will feel disrespected I am as a result
of you know this school do you feel like you really belong here
I feel like I belong here if I’m putting in the word decibel we’re on the campus of Morehouse College
Morehouse is an historically black men’s college that was founded out of the
necessity to give a culturally safe space to black students who are being
excluded by predominantly white institutions in 2018 their existence
feels necessary for a lot of the same reasons in the past year alone hate
groups are openly marching on college campuses a white student admitted on
Instagram to tampering with her black roommates personal belongings
another black student had the police called on her while sleeping on a couch
in the common area of her dorm and others are still victims of racially
motivated attacks the thing is Morehouse like so many other HBCUs is navigating
one of the most difficult financial climates it’s seen since its
establishment and in order to keep their doors open they’ve turned to the
recruitment of non black students that we want to come together but for some of
you coming together means ignoring our experiences and while shows like dear
white people have dramatized the tension around white students entering black
spaces on college campuses that tension is very real at places like Morehouse so
we’re here to meet Thiago he’s a non-traditional freshman at Morehouse
and we’re gonna find out what it’s like being a non black student at an
all-black school Tiago what’s going on what’s up homie
are you doing what’s your name man Chris Chris so I got to actually put on my my
outfit before we start do you mind if I sit on your bed Oh respect to you I’m
sorry now I got you I got you always ask first I appreciate it I’m not trying to
violate so I was freshman year Ben it’s a little bit of a culture shock having
it be a new setting a new city you know when I first got here they told me you
know people are gonna always come up to you and ask you why’d you come to
Morehouse you know people looking at me like oh wow who is this person so that’s
something that was totally different but the cool thing is that it’s like
representative southern hospitality which I really appreciate so my middle
name is actually Jimmy because we share the same birthday that’s cool yeah my
dentist gave this to me that he’s been saving for decades you know growing up
in predominantly black kindergarten and elementary school and then transitioning
to a more white affluent community in my high school you know you get to see the
two different levels I think it was just psychologically just like you know put
me into this position where like I’m naturally more gravitated towards the
black community than the white community what made you want to come to this
school why Morehouse I think I just wanted something you know different how did your friends and peers and your
family how did they respond to this decision
my family was cool with it but I don’t think they really believed that you know
it was gonna end up happening and that’s no knock on them I love my family and
then you know peers they didn’t respond initially well to the idea of more house
so my kids they like ridiculed you yeah definitely first so it was a hard
process this was like my dream right if people were trashing it so I had a ton
of self-doubt and going through this like sort of like identity crisis kind
of realizing oh what am i doing you know am i doing what’s right because
everybody’s saying it’s wrong but every time I took a trip up here at morehouse
people told me oh man they’re gonna love you here I was like okay why am I being
treated better here more house by strangers then you know people back home Morehouse like many of the 101 HBCU
still operating in the United States was founded in the late 1800s to educate
freed slaves who were refused access to predominantly white institutions over
time they evolved in the culturally safe spaces where black students were
encouraged to be free thinking and could escape the oppression that lived outside
their campus gates and these environments help sculpt the great black
minds of America and Morehouse in particular has produced alumni like
Martin Luther King jr. Spike Lee and samuel l.jackson but this legacy is put
at risk with the active recruitment of non black students like we’ve seen at
West Virginia State or Bluefield state both HBCUs with black student
populations of less than 10% so I spoke with Damon Phillips from the school’s
Communications Office to find out why I mean ultimately it’s about finances
ultimately we need to find ways to fund our institutions differently than we
have in the past and so a lot of schools are now recruiting what we consider
non-traditional HBCU students but white students Asian students Hispanic
students there’s a big push has that been met with any criticism
from alumni or current students a lot of people have issue with it you know you
guys occur more how students how does that make you feel when you think about
the idea that there could be a growing number of white students on this campus
I’m on the fence about it because I feel like you know I should still accept
people who they are however at one point in time we weren’t allowed in high
school just because of the color of our skin now am i saying because of the
color their skin they’re not welcome here no but I am saying here at
Morehouse College they’re known for producing black what’s taught here is
not only how we fight for it for where we are but how we fight for who we are
outside of these gates if you grew up in an environment where you were mistreated
and abused and just you know belittled by white people you really don’t want to
see them when you come to a black space that bothers me because we
have to provide a safe haven for our children so there’s a frame of thought
that’s based in fear that if you let one person in then before you know it
everyone will come in in their schools that we’ve seen historically they’ve had
that where you’ve got Kentucky States and Tennessee States in West Virginia
States which is 95 percent white but still an HBCU so people are afraid of
that type of thing happening you’d be where kind of tipping if you
have 10 black student white students at Morehouse that’s not gonna affect the
culture 100 maybe if they made the decision to come to an HBCU you have to
expect that there is a level that they are at you know you have this fear that
they’re at a base level if they decide to come to an HBCU the white student
that conceivably would come here wouldn’t necessarily have the same
commitment because they don’t understand the struggle if they’re not coming in
with like a base level of knowledge you know this is the knowledge that you need
to have have you ever gotten a how to navigate white America Hamza I I miss my
papi I’m very comfortable with things not necessarily being integrated do you
feel like your presence here you’re infringing upon what’s supposed to be a
culturally safe space for people that don’t look like you I see how people
would like think of it from that perspective I know that like I come here
as a white person white male in this country we do have privilege now how can
we use our privilege for the betterment of society how do you feel like this experience is
changing you thus far the most fundamental change right out of
everything is turning me away from a self-absorbed experience is both
decentralizing the attitude of whiteness right the attitude that I’m smarter that
I deserve this opportunity more than you the attitude of supremacy understanding
that had I not come across Morehouse I probably would have never delved deep
into learning about you know the true history of this country all the you know
the things that the US government has done to keep people down
I wouldn’t think it’s fair for someone who characterize you as a person that is
seeking a black experience but how do you respond to people who think you’re
here because you want to be black um just just recognizing that that’s just
not my truth no I don’t want to change you know the color of my skin or act
like they stereotype of black people in society but there are elements to black
culture like the hospitality besides yeah they’re listening CIA’s monitoring
right now man I know they are losing wine that’s what the grilled chicken
yellow rice dish yellow right yeah I’m sure all of you had sort of like an
idea of what Moor house is gonna be by the time that you got here did you guys
think you were gonna have like a white friend when you got the moor house next
to me – so when I seen him on moving bed I hadn’t expected UTI though and even
after I did meet together I didn’t expect to talk to the ttio after all
right well at first I didn’t know his intentions so I didn’t I didn’t trust
the alcove too much everyone was a little bit skeptical of white person in
this black space just because an America weekend if you have a history of white
people coming into black spaces doing that’s okay then right but see how
that’s a great dude like he’s not doing this to be in some experiment he’s doing
this for the same reason that I’m here I was abandoned and when he explains to me
why I was like wow like that’s my loss you know he kind of has the same vision
that you know a more automation so their only reason that like I’m being able to
be cool everybody is because of these sort of interactions that godlike Kaleo
guys like Brandon Johnson Jackson Kip men and Morehouse and Morehouse men
throughout my life that have like helped me develop as a person so really I’m
just another person here ultimately I have to speak in Thiago for the first
time I knew the wrong thing to do was make her feel like she’s not loved she’s
a mute injured so in order for me to change his mind said I needed to be cool what is the thing that you love the most
about Morehouse is what do you value the most about this place what I pretty much
love the most is the mission or Morehouse that sort of unique mission of
having men become leaders that just changed the world practically and that’s
something that I wanted to be a part of have you taken any leadership positions
since you’ve arrived to you so I am the president of this dorm which is deemed
as a big deal right because of you know the obvious wait what’s the obvious
obviously you know a white student and by the most famous dorm
being the president of that mmmthat’s uh feel like very ironical right that’s the
right word so you’re being the president of graves rubbed some people the wrong
way oh definitely how did you become president I ran an election I remember
like I wanted to run for Vice President or treasurer because I didn’t think you
know president was possible I didn’t have that courage but people in this
hall encouraged me and then I ran what somebody taught me was that it’s never
about somebody voting for you it’s always about the message have you had to
confront your minority status here at this institution yeah um you know a
student earlier this semester you know stopped me and asked me why am I here
and we’re like a condescending undertone right anywhere you know people are not
gonna like you so I was a little bit you know anxious and whatnot not scared but
anxious you know I hope people will accept me people might say something or
look at me a certain way it’s fine it’s not personal especially because
like most of those people you know they don’t know me but it’s okay the history
of this country right and all the oppression has led people to feel this
way and I would say 99% of my experience
this year have been extremely amazing about 1% I don’t take it personally well
at the end of day everybody has their own individual judgment I judge you know
you judge we all judge but when people get to know me I think people will have
their own perspectives ok we’re gonna go talk to Professor Robin Marcus an HBCU
alumni and former professor to get her perspective on why historically black
colleges and universities are so important when you’re walking across a
campus and you’re reminded of who also walked on those on that lawn right who
said in those rooms the legacy is palpable to be able to step into that
space know that it was carved out for you when the rest of your life says
something very different about your value your intelligence your potential
at least for four years you’re not gonna have to think about racism and so when a
white student says you know I wanted to try something different or you know I
felt this calling to the mission of the school what is what are you here um well
that’s nice but you can’t you don’t understand what it meant for this grass
to be this this sod to be here you you don’t know that what does that mean
though that means that the shared the body the full weight of history what
that institution has stood for what it has meant for us us black people is it
reverse racism to have schools that are only for black students okay so I don’t
even understand that word that term for real and I get that is an argument it’s
a specious one it’s a dumb one racism has to do with structures with systems
with legislation all of that not it’s not fair because you’re black and you
can do it and I’m white and I should be able to do it that ain’t if that’s what
you call reverse racism I’m trying to conversation with you do you guys feel
like it is problematic that we’ve come here to showcase the experience of a
non-black student at an all-black school well I mean I genuinely want to know yes
why why do you say controversial because of course it’s already frowned upon that
how come they can get into where we want to be but we can’t get into where they
can this is a space where people that have been consistently marginalized for
the last 400 years have come to change that narrative yet when we get here when
the national media comes to have a conversation with us who do they want to
speak with the only perspective that’s relevant is the perspective of a young
person it doesn’t look like us I do like the fact that you’re here in order to in
order to allow us to drive our narrative but at the same time there is nothing
that a young non-traditional student can bring to the culture of Morehouse
Spellman o’clock it’s us culturing here so you asked about this question of
bringing I’m gonna just be blamed bringing a lot more white feeding into a
predominantly black space where Morehouse right now I’m slightly
uncomfortable that only because so many students came tomorrow specifically to
feel human and to not be the humanized be the most human that they could
possibly be in a society like this do you guys take issue with the fact that
there are a certain number of recruitment dollars that are reserved to
attract a non black student to Morehouse or Spelman or Clark is that a fact this place is sacred our ideas who we
are as people we feel safe here and if we had white people just coming in here
and taking over a 40% of the population I will feel disrespected I would love if
a white person with reddington’s came here and learned about us as black
people you have a lot to offer and I think it’s just a shame that we want to
keep that to ourselves come see what black people can do like I
don’t want to do that you can learn my history like in an African American
diaspora class I’m in pain because you all don’t see the bigger picture you see
what’s in front we just see the bigger picture here’s the bigger picture
Morehouse and Spelman recruit the best and the brightest girls and put them
next to the best and the brightest boys there’s always been white students here
always when I was a student here we called him white Mike that was his dad
any student that comes of this school regardless of their intent they’re gonna
be influenced by you all they have no choice
the reason why we don’t have everything is about money it’s about money it’s not
about anything else but money but look what we do what we have who do we have I
think that students have a right to be on concerns these schools have for a
long time been the only place where you can get an education but more
importantly a place you can get an experience because a lot of our students
are coming from environments where they’ve never seen a black instructor
that fear of oh my god they’re gonna take this from me too is rooted in a
really personal place for a lot of students and I understand that it is a
good thing to expand the applicant pool that you’re looking for people that
criticize that have to understand that the school is trying to figure out a way
to bring in more dollars couldn’t the introduction of the non traditional or
non black students of the HBCU campus uh sure in the gentrification of the HB
to you either we change and we adapt to what’s around us or we’re gonna struggle
a lot and some schools are gonna close because they didn’t want to embrace
what’s coming what is your response to someone that says you’re only here
because your wife essentially that you are an affirmative action admittance in
my case you know it’s not true like I genuinely care about this school and
this mission so I’ll just pass these around is that part of the reason why he
felt it so important to become a student ambassador that’s definitely the main
reason behind it so this is probably not you what you were expecting right a
white student and HBCU giving you the tour right when I was a freshman in high
school we had a Morehouse man and she really embodied that spirit of a leader
and regardless of the racial dynamics of this campus I saw that potential in
myself but I like to know a little bit more
about you so can anybody tell me where they’re from today
Indiana cool Philadelphia how about you okay okay are you guys happy about the
Superbowl and whatnot oh yeah I’m in the 76ers they just won last night right I’m
a Celtics fan just how to put that out there a lot of those first individuals
to gentrify a cultural space of some kind recognize the value or an
opportunity that exists and I’m curious what the difference between you and that
person is I guess the way I try to look at it is how can I contribute to the
campus how can I get involved how can I be engaged how can I make you no one
else a better place in the truest sense so we’re about to enter King’s chapel
this is a kind of a sacred space at Morehouse I think this is a safe space
for black students and other students and I think it should remain that way I
don’t want this to spark a lot of like white students come here I don’t
like that’s not what I want yes better pay more house I don’t know those
numbers I do know that there might be three white students in the entire
school me somebody that’s in the ROTC program and then a Japanese exchange
coming here meeting Thiago this is the first time I’ve ever seen a white male
as a minority why you would want to immerse yourself in a completely black
space I think there was a lot of people off in the beginning but meeting Thiago
and hearing his very honest desire to initiate change and acknowledge the
privilege that he was born with I think it’s a good thing you look this way
right this is century campus every year in May we graduate I think the most
african-american men in the entire world all in one place this used to be a civil
war site think about that from like a spiritual standpoint the most graduating
african-american men are on top of there like the remains of fallen Confederate
soldiers yeah you are going to diversify its students like Thiago that you want
to recruit here not people that want to come here and take something away and
feel no calling to give something back but it’s important to keep in mind that
there are only so many beds and so many desks and when you give one away to even
the most well-intentioned non-traditional student you could be
taking that opportunity from a young black student that may have needed it
more so do you have any feeling of regret or guilt that you took a position
away at this school from a young black man that needed it I will I would be in
a and I will be if I don’t

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. "I feel like I belong here if I'm putting in the work. It's that simple."

    WATCH NEXT: The Slavery Detective of the South —

  2. I think that when it comes to hbc’s they should only allow around 20-30 percent of white people tbh I think this is reasonable

  3. I think that this is the type of video that anyone that supports white supremacy needs to watch because they needa see an honest to god good intentioned white male looks like who’s neither rich nor famous

  4. The black people saying they don't want white people to come to their college sounds exactly like white people saying they don't want black people in their college. No matter what, it is racism.

  5. 11:49 – "He's not doing this to be in some experiment"
    ~But according to Tiago, He wanted to try something different.

  6. There is racism in any colour group….its how you perceive and handle it that sets you apart from the rest…..we are all from one race …

  7. its not about what you as a black person can learn about him but what he wants to learn from you ….if you can not see that ….its a shame … not let the past hold you back …but may you learn from each other and built a true and free AMERICA….

  8. Gender, race, and the calling God has for our lives, is sacred to God because He made us for Himself and thought we were perfectly made in His image even before we were born. It’s so important to Him and I really want others to look to Jesus and just take a moment to stop. Bad things like slavery is still an issue all across the world and sex trafficking is the biggest it’s ever been….. I believe it’s around 27-28million and that number is growing. Slavery is in the Bible and it was seen more as employers and workers. American slavery was truly terrible and satanic and same with sex trafficking. I remember in one movie how a black man was supposed to have his freedom and promised it but they changed their mind…..which is cruel, hypocritical, and downright immoral. Others across the world thought American slavery was really immoral. Also, after the Civil War, the black people that chose to go back to Africa, they enslaved each other….so what I’m getting at, is the heart of man is evil and the only thing we can do to move forward and make a difference, is love. 1Corinthians ch.13.

  9. It makes no sense to want to punish me for the terrible decisions of white people in the past… people need to look forward and pull themselves from the victim mindset.

    It’s great to see many educated students that accept anyone.

  10. That female professor is racist. There is no such thing as reverse racism. Racism is believing your race odds superior to all other races. It has nothing to do with whatever she was saying

  11. All I hear is how "white" people are rascists, but almost every "black" person I ever hear is always degrading white folks….

  12. The last thing black community should do is discriminate like how the whites did. They should strive to be better then that. I get why they don't like the concept of white people schooling there. Maybe cap the number of students ( yes that's discrimination).

  13. I watched this vid and I now feel like white people are completely justified in their actions and not wanting blacks in their "safe spaces"
    To people who don't hate themselves and to people who don't play the victim its blatantly obvious that many black people are either very racist or very bitter and jealous or all of the above.

  14. The gjy in the hall thathas the burgundy jumper and gray hat .. has it in a nut shell. It is a matter of adapt or fold .. it sounds harsh but evolution is a small part of life .. right from the start of time ..

  15. It's a norm in South African schools, colleges, technikons and university where whites are the minority. SA is way ahead of USA in this aspect.

  16. The present is the fruit of seeds sewn in the past. If that fruit is palatable for you by all means. Partake. If it is not. Plant 🌱 a new seed in hope that it may bear a pleasant fruit.

  17. If you think I’m America he should not be there maybe you’re the Racist. We are all Vods children, all humans, all the same living a short life. I just don’t get it. We continue to feed the fire of division as oppose to coming together and media plus Globalist do everything they can to keep us at us. Together we the people can make a change, divided and pitted against one another the 1 percent wins. I’m glad to see those who welcome him and it gives me hope we can live our lives forward.

  18. 1:16 in I hear this place is sacred we produce more black attorneys doctors and if white peoples came here I’d feel disrespected… if whites said this it would be nationwide protest

  19. It's a beautiful thing when people who are different from one another can come together and just treat each other as equal human beings. 3:)

  20. Welp at least he is not dead yet just like what the white people will do if you are black . Or don’t talk to you and won’t even want to have anything to do with you . Black people are so welcome .

  21. The one Japanese exchange student that's in there must be just going through one hell of a culture shock. He watched "straight outta Compton" in japan and was like "I want to go to a school like this movie.

    Relax it's a joke. U will b ok

  22. this goes against everythin we are tryna to make better which is havin more ethnicity interact with each other and learn from each other. I am black and Latino and what makes me upset with this is seein that black people still bring up slavery and playin victim. realize where slavery came from and how black people got here. In Africa black people rounded up other black people kept them as slaves then sold them to foreigners. Look into history it’s been around forever our own people had us as slaves. I mean look at Asian people when Pearl Harbor happened. the government rounded them up striped them from everythin and put them in camps for a while. guess what you don’t see them still complainin about it and they are one of the more successful ethnicity’s in America cuz they don’t complain and just work hard to become successful

  23. For those of u who are saying this is racist it’s not historically black colleges where the only places where we could get our college education some used to be slave owners homes and then for those majority white u guys didn’t let us in so we started our own and now u wanna come to our school and place look I get it I’m being racist but understand. White people used to “own” us and they wouldn’t allow us to have education. I’m all for other races coming into schools like dat but I won’t let it become a majority white school

  24. “To be able to step into that space and know that it was carved out for you”

    So y’all are trying to imprison your children into a mental cages because your parents did the same and so on. Racism exists today because the attitudes from the past have been passed down. Children are never born racist they learn to be racist, fuck all these old fossils pushing their racist narratives(white and black) upon the youth. People teaching their children like black and white is a rivalry when it should be a brotherhood. We need guys like Tiago sharing their message to the future generations, not these old fossils who are too bitter to turn a new leaf.

  25. Its unnecessary getting over comfortable in a bubble when its just a transition. Eventually one has to step out of that "safe space", having a hindsight not realizing that its the "work", what you do and not the color of your skin, that matters, is a your own pitfall. One cannot please everybody but with Education we can be better than ourselves yesterday.. and that's the start.

  26. white people doe'nt know the struggle the school has gone through the same can be said for the black students that are enrolled in the school most of society doesnt know the struggle in the civil rights era and your part of the reason racism is still present In our minds you keep reviving it some of these black kids doesn't know what true racism is they are blessed and have all the tools and resources to become what ever they want be the only thing that's stopping them is their mindset

  27. 9/5/2019: I think any student that have the monies can attend any school the desire. GOD bless this young man.

  28. You American are so strange
    Even black Africans accept white and it's not their county so why can't you accept white when it's YOUR county?

  29. Good piece. Shows us that Black people are the most racist of all. That white kid has been brainwashed from an early age, the fact that the parents gave "Jimi" as a middle name after Hendrix says it all.

  30. If an alien race came to threaten us I bet we'd all stop dividing ourselves into race and just unify as a species. That would be nice.

    Not the being threatened by aliens part. Hope everyone has a good day 🙏🏻🙏🏿

  31. This is a very intriguing conversation. How many traditionally white colleges or universities are there in the United States? Or colleges that are just all white?

  32. Meanwhile, no one gives a shit about the brown students. LOL. I honestly feel weird that im considered a neutral race. Its chill tho cuz our people care more about money and success then we do about social issues. Thats the cold truth

  33. If a statement is unethical and racist, it remains unethical and racist regardless of the color of the skin of the person making it.

  34. If a statement is unethical and racist, it remains unethical and racist regardless of the color of the skin of the person saying it.

  35. I’m half Hispanic: A lot of the Black Lives Matter crowd constantly talk about how hateful white Americans are towards other minorities. But to be honest, most of the hostile behavior I’ve ever seen are from black people. They did a documentary about a college campus that only enrolled black People into their school and one student even stated that he would be “offended” if a white person were to be enrolled. So in spite of living in the same area, this white person does not deserve to receive an education because of his skin color? Racism is only okay if it favors YOUR race. What a joke. Stop supporting them, start supporting EVERYONE.

  36. "And if we had just white students coming in here, I would feel disrespected."
    Don't know about ya'll, but that sounds kinda like black supremacy. I mean if this was a white college and a white person said that, there would be an outbreak.

  37. Honestly this story makes me sad .especially by the faculty. We are supposed to be totally blind to the fact of color .and I know it's not just because I'm as white as they come but so far from a wigger than you can come as well. I feel like the alumni is setting boundaries, if he was Spanish he would get the same results. We have so far to go still .That's the sad part. I hope we make it.

  38. i love how my young black intellects spoke their peace…… ITS OK FOR US AS “BLACK PEOPLE” TO HAVE A PLACE WHERE WE CAN THINK FREELY!!!

  39. That one guy who said he wanted this to stay a black space for kids or whatever my guy white people are 50% of the population you walk out and you bump into one maybe you need to show your kid the real world

  40. Hmm..Neh, I see what ya'll doing but it's not the same. Being white in a historically blk school that's still located in a mostly white country is not the same experience as being a minority in a mostly white country or being blk PERIOD. Nice try though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment