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Author Topic: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.  (Read 10297 times)

snowbird

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Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« on: January 23, 2006, 12:45:40 PM »
I realize that, with a few exceptions, we are minorities at any school we attend. However- I'm curious to know about the experiences folks have being in the extreme minority. I'm especially wondering if there are folks out there who have not necessarily had bad experiences. Thoughts?
going to University of Washington (with some $) in the fall!

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2006, 01:35:59 PM »
Good question.

I've heard stories from both extremes and the constant theme is that, as people of color, the racial make up of your law school can make or break your law school experience.

SEU and myself attend Rutgers School of Law - Newark, where we are blessed to have a strong representation of the diversity in the NYC metropolitan area reflected at the University.  My law school experience has significantly been a positive one when I compare notes with my friends at law schools in the midwest or on the west coast where the numbers are dramatically lower for minority representation.

Large portions of Constitional Law and both Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure involve cases raising the issue of race in the law.  I cannot express how helpful it is to not be the sole representative for the entire black race when these cases are discussed in class.
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Slow Blues

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2006, 02:15:32 PM »
I wouldn't say that's always the case, Leo. Even top schools are quite diverse. It's more a factor of region and location: I've noticed that southern schools (regardless of rank) that are not traditionally black colleges seem to be less diverse than schools in other regions.

And while I am not yet in law school like Burning, speaking from my undergraduate experience (I didn't go to a HBCU), I never had any bad experiences in school. Outside of school, different story. But I'd say I had a very good experience in my undergrad school. Even though there were quite a few times when I was the only black man in a class, I didn't come out of undergrad saying 'damn I wish I had gone to Hampton or Howard'. I just felt like it's something I became inured to after a while; while my group of friends in school was really diverse, I've never needed other people of color in class to excel. But I realize that this won't be the case for everyone, and I could see how the racial makeup of a class can be make or break for a lot of us.

blk_reign

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2006, 02:30:49 PM »
I was used to being the only black woman in some of my classes..however an African American history class with a white professor and all white students is a deal breaker for me...headed to the registrar each time :D
We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2006, 02:38:09 PM »
Just out of curiosity, what would you all say the tradeoff is as far as rankings and diversity go? It seems the general rule is that the higher you go in rankings the lower the diversity. How can you find the right balance?


That's definitely not true. The top schools get their pick of the cream of the minority crop...they do not hurt for qualified minority applicants. In my opinion, the schools that are in the middle of nowhere without strong reputations are the ones that have a hard time with diversity. Also, it varies according to grad/undergrad. Harvard is well known for having a strong black grad student population, for instance.
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intent06

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2006, 02:39:49 PM »
I had this experience as an undergraduate.  There were good and bad points, but I would say the racial makeup of my classes was very important.  Its hard being the only Black student in a class (or being one of a few) b/c the non-minorities hang on to your every word and opinion as representative of the entire race.  I really tried to seek out law schools that at least had SOME diversity and actually cared about it.  There are a few on my list that accomplished this successfully.

Like Slow, I am not a law student but I would rather sit in a class where my opinion or thoughts are not looked upon as representing "everyone".  Its a very difficult seat to sit in and I hope I never have to do that again.
Damn...it's the third year already!!

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2006, 02:44:27 PM »
I wouldn't say that's always the case, Leo. Even top schools are quite diverse. It's more a factor of region and location: I've noticed that southern schools (regardless of rank) that are not traditionally black colleges seem to be less diverse than schools in other regions.

And while I am not yet in law school like Burning, speaking from my undergraduate experience (I didn't go to a HBCU), I never had any bad experiences in school. Outside of school, different story. But I'd say I had a very good experience in my undergrad school. Even though there were quite a few times when I was the only black man in a class, I didn't come out of undergrad saying 'damn I wish I had gone to Hampton or Howard'. I just felt like it's something I became inured to after a while; while my group of friends in school was really diverse, I've never needed other people of color in class to excel. But I realize that this won't be the case for everyone, and I could see how the racial makeup of a class can be make or break for a lot of us.

I would hope the racial makeup of a class would never make or break someone, although I can see how that might happen. I'm definitely well used to being the only black man in most of my classes, but I also agree that people who go to diverse schools tend rate their experiences more positively than those who don't. Even now, classes seem to be more tolerable when they are at least one third black, specifically those that deal with race. What about schools on the west coast?


Well, if you wanna go with the West Coast basically = California (sorry Wash and Oregon, don't know much about either but I suspect they have the aforementioned "middle of nowhere" problem) and as we all know, Prop 209 is alive and well, dragging down Black and Latino enrollment at UCLA and Boalt. Stanford has a notoriously hard time recruiting Black grad students (can't seem to get that critical mass going), they seem to lose all the talent to Harvard. USC seems to do okay.
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lex19

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2006, 02:47:30 PM »
hmmmmm......

intent06

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2006, 02:49:52 PM »
Texas experiences the same type of situation as California, but there ARE ways to attract and retain minorities students.  There must be something at those schools that are keeping them out.
Damn...it's the third year already!!

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Black Students In/Going to "White" Schools: Gather Here.
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2006, 02:52:21 PM »
Texas experiences the same type of situation as California, but there ARE ways to attract and retain minorities students.  There must be something at those schools that are keeping them out.

Most just go elsewhere. Or go to Stanford/USC (private institutions not subject to 209). Also, there aren't that many Black people in California - period, only 7-8% of the state population I believe (well under the 12% or so nationally)
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