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Author Topic: experience at howard for a white student? (in NO way meant as racist thread)  (Read 3133 times)

sissy

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in another post, someone suggested howard to me based on my lsat and gpa. 

i will admit that i thought it was a "black" school, but i just spent quite a bit of time looking at the howard law site and some other howard info on the web, as well as reading a bunch of threads in BLSD about howard and other HBCUs.

please pardon the long post, but this is a big thought. i'm intrigued by howard.  (28 years old, white female, graduating undergrad may 08).

i grew up and still live in a moderately sized town in south central pennsylvania.  i went to an inner city elementary school where the majority of the black kids were very poor and where white kids were the minority.  pretty much all the white kids were in the same section: the smart/gifted section. the white kids were mostly rich or at least well off (my dad had a very good factory job).  i remember not knowing enough to directly question this racial/economic divide as an elementary school kid, but it seemed kind of odd.  why were all the black kids poor? why were the black kids the ones who came to school early for free breakfast but my mom said i couldn't go? i just remember being confused by it but feeling it was inappropriate to ask.

i moved to a suburban district after 6th grade.  there was ONE black girl in my entire junior high.  and she was very quiet.  very different from the outspoken and sometimes wild black kids i was used to.  the white kids at my new school were often racist and as more black students came to our district over the next several years, racial tensions definitely flared.  (this was in the early 90s.) (not to mention, i missed all the cool names of my city school classmates: lakeysha, miqualani, eutika, saadiya, shaniqua. my real name is unique and it wasn't until i moved to the 'burbs that suddenly my name was a topic of conversation every time i met someone.  i have been asked, seriously, "is that a black name?" about my name, which is siobahn, pronounced shavonne, it's irish.  surrounded by other cool names in the city, my name had never been questioned. i've been explaining my name to people ever since i left city schools. i've had boyfriends whose parents, before they met me, would ask if i was black based upon how my name sounded. that is so retarded yet so typical of my area.  this is from people who don't think they are racist. the other response to my name is quite different:  oh, that's beautiful! is it french?.  no one has ever prefaced the "is it black?" with "oh that's beautiful" so that's why i consider it a racist remark.)

i know that racism is alive and kicking in my town and it sucks.  it goes both ways and often young black kids do things that don't help themselves and just make things worse.  but their lives are so horrible that they don't see consequences or a future beyond tomorrow.  the police officer assigned to the city schools said that there are over 300 gangs active in some way in our city!  the pressure must be tremendous to join one. i have no idea how that must feel.  i hear and read stories about minority kids and violence all the time in our area and it just saddens and amazes me at how hopeless they must feel on a regular basis. 

i guess what i'm getting at is, law school is about understanding more than law, it's about understanding society.  that's the reason laws exist.  i think that having the experience of being immersed in another culture, in fact a culture that exists right here in this country along with and beside my own, is an experience that will benefit me as an attorney and as a human being.

i really don't want to be seen as naive or racist or anything like that.  this is all coming from a very good place.  but if i'm going to be laughed at, i might as well as find out about it now before i think more about applying to howard.

i'm not expecting to run around all unity and rainbows and be like "oh i have a black friend, how quaint!".  but i think  that someone in another thread made a very good point - in the photos of classes from other schools, the majority would be white faces. to use a buzzword, i think it would give me a better world view.  i like to think of myself as broad minded etc, but honestly, i've had limited experience. i did spend some time on a native american reservation and that just made me feel terrible to be part of the subjugating people.  i just really don't understand racism but realize that a mild form of it is ingrained me from my life here.  i know very few successful black people. in fact, i know very few black people.  i know even fewer latinos or puerto ricans.  given the demographics in my area, that really shouldn't be the case.

i don't think i can right the wrongs or any grand view like that.  but i figure if i'm paying so much for law school, i might as well come out of it with something more than a j.d. which any number of schools offer.

ok, so i guess my naive view is that i want to feel more part of the world.  and the world is not white suburbanites. 

please don't flame me because i'm really not trying to be an ass, i'm just trying to have an honest conversation.

thanks for comments.

ě

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please pardon the long post, but this is a big thought. i'm intrigued by howard.  (28 years old, white female, graduating undergrad may 08).
I bet you are! ;D

On a serious note tho, I did recently talk to a white dude at Howard on Facebook, and he seemed to be quite happy with his choice of schools. The one thing to keep in mind though is that many of the employers coming to OCI are looking to boost their minority counts, so you might not be able to fully take advantage of it. But for its numbers and ranks, it seems to be a good school.

Stand under my Umbrella ella ella, aye!!

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28 hunh?  I would have pegged you younger from what you wrote but hey.  If you look on Howards webpage at their 06 grad photos a white woman was an honors graduate.  so at least one white person did well there. 
The Tragicomic: Its embodied in the blues, jazz, (HIP HOP, CORNELL <<one slight deserves another!!!!<< REALLY MISSED THE BOAT ON THAT ONE!!!) and the African experience in the New World -- the ability to withstand terrorism, embrace ones worst enemies lovingly and bear the unbearable in song.

wellpreserved

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Well, I can't really decipher what you are asking, if you are asking anything.

I mean, Howard is an excellent school with a killer rep and some serious salary statistics. That should be of interest to a OL regardless of their color. It seems like you are looking for an academic environment that will give you a UN feel? I'm not so sure about that. It's an interesting endeavor but I do not know if law school will provide it, no matter where you go.

But, go to the school. Do your research. It's a great portal to Biglaw and DC politics if any of those things interest you. However, I'd caution that there are cheaper ways to see the "real world". For less than the 100K Howard might run you one could just, you know, talk to people different than themselves. It shouldn't cost you more than a cup of coffee at *bux.
I tested between 151 and 162. I hoped for the high end and ended up in the middle. Still, not a bad plan overall, I think.

LSAT: 156 (not taking it again and you can't make me)
GPA: 3.4ish. Still a semester to go
URM, non-trad, 12 yrs work exp, published
Looking for low debt and high aid

Tony Montana

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I am going to answer your question based on the title of your thread; and not the content of your post-which, quite frankly, is all over the place.

"experience at howard for a white student? (in NO way meant as racist thread)"

In general terms, your experience as a white person at Howard should be very good.  What constantly amazes me at black colleges, in general, are how courteous black students are to the white student minority.  Some even make an effort to include the few whites into the group.  I will leave the reasoning for this to the sociologist/social experts.  But, trust me when I tell you that white students are treated WELL at HBU.

The only advice I'd give you is to let go of your preconceived notions about black people in general and treat them like you would treat other whites.  Just picture them as white people with really good tans...
Consuetudo pro lege servatur...Corruptisima re publica plurimae leges.

wellpreserved

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I am going to answer your question based on the title of your thread; and not the content of your post-which, quite frankly, is all over the place.

"experience at howard for a white student? (in NO way meant as racist thread)"

In general terms, your experience as a white person at Howard should be very good.  What constantly amazes me at black colleges, in general, are how courteous black students are to the white student minority.  Some even make an effort to include the few whites into the group.  I will leave the reasoning for this to the sociologist/social experts.  But, trust me when I tell you that white students are treated WELL at HBU.

The only advice I'd give you is to let go of your preconceived notions about black people in general and treat them like you would treat other whites.  Just picture them as white people with really good tans...


this has always been my experience at HBCUs. if anything the few white folks who "brave" the other side get rockstar status. POC, by and large, go out of their way to make white people feel at home. although the more i skim this very convoluted post the more i think i'm supposed to be handing the OP a cookie for her "black" name?

eh.

whatever.

I tested between 151 and 162. I hoped for the high end and ended up in the middle. Still, not a bad plan overall, I think.

LSAT: 156 (not taking it again and you can't make me)
GPA: 3.4ish. Still a semester to go
URM, non-trad, 12 yrs work exp, published
Looking for low debt and high aid

Tony Montana

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I am going to answer your question based on the title of your thread; and not the content of your post-which, quite frankly, is all over the place.

"experience at howard for a white student? (in NO way meant as racist thread)"

In general terms, your experience as a white person at Howard should be very good.  What constantly amazes me at black colleges, in general, are how courteous black students are to the white student minority.  Some even make an effort to include the few whites into the group.  I will leave the reasoning for this to the sociologist/social experts.  But, trust me when I tell you that white students are treated WELL at HBU.

The only advice I'd give you is to let go of your preconceived notions about black people in general and treat them like you would treat other whites.  Just picture them as white people with really good tans...


this has always been my experience at HBCUs. if anything the few white folks who "brave" the other side get rockstar status. POC, by and large, go out of their way to make white people feel at home. although the more i skim this very convoluted post the more i think i'm supposed to be handing the OP a cookie for her "black" name?

eh.

whatever.



Lol, yeah...She does have a few issues with race.  But, then again, considering the abysmal job this country has done with racial relations, I'm not surprised.  At least OP is willing to let it all hang out and ask for advice.  I’ll take her over a know-it-all racist any day.
Consuetudo pro lege servatur...Corruptisima re publica plurimae leges.

sissy

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thanks for your replies everyone (and for not just bashing me). 

i was not trying to get "cookies" for my "black" name. I was just trying to show the way racism is ingrained into the people around me - like someone said, preconceived notions. 

i guess the whole point of my post (that i wrote at 3 in the morning) was that the idea of being surrounded by successful black kids sounds absolutely amazing and so completely different from what i've known. 

i'm sorry if being honest made me sound younger than 28.  you're right, i should just try to talk people different than me. unfortunately, the opportunity doesn't often present itself.  it's almost like there's some kind of segregation still in place here. it's not all that integrated.  i think it's stupid.  i think it's unfortunate that the majority of black people i have met either in school or through my work with a nonprofit here in my city completely live up to the stereotypes - dropouts, very young moms, violent, on welfare etc.  i KNOW that there's a BIGGER problem causing these problems.  the successful black people that i have met i don't know very well, but maybe i could.  it's easier to talk about this here because we're not face to to face.

so yes, in a way, i am naive when it's come to race relations and i wish i wasn't.  i don't really have problems with race so much as i feel that there is an entire culture next door to me that i know nothing about except the bad parts, and even those bad parts i don't know enough about to help or make a valid viewpoint on.

on that note, thanks for the input and the candor, i sincerely appreciate it. i also just thought of someone i can go to about all this - a very nice black lady (edit) who (edit) is a successful artist i met through my job.  thanks again for not bashing me!

Funia

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When I went to Howard, mind you I was an 18-year-old freshman among 18-year-old freshman, there was a white female that lived in my complex. I specifically remember people always asking her why she chose Howard (a somewhat rude question). She said she grew up with black foster siblings and added she felt comfortable there.

Julee Fern

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Lol, yeah...She does have a few issues with race.  But, then again, considering the abysmal job this country has done with racial relations, I'm not surprised. 


As opposed to any other country.  I hear Sudan has it all worked out pretty well.   ::)
goooooo al qaeda!  gooooooo bin laden!  go, go, osama bin laden!

never mind all people you killing senselessly--that just more that silly conservative thinking.  what important is scooter libby and cheney's former employers.  beeeeeeee substantive!