Black Scholars and Professionals

12 Nov

As a Black Professional, and scholar I have to say, it is a lonely road.  There are not many other black women in my field (and even less in others) and half as many black men.  I wish I had taken the time in my Graduate career to organize and unify the students of ethnic minorities which at my University happen to be Blacks with few exception.

I was reading a journal article about the wellness in Black men in predominately white universities vs. those in historically Black institutions.  My full report is HERE, but a brief synopsis concluded that HBCU students scored lower than PWI students on sense of worth, but higher on the following factors: friendship, love, sense of control, and gender identity.  Overall, though, there was no significant difference in total wellness between students at HBCUs and PWIs.  As most universities are PWIs I have to look at what we as black scholars are lacking in: friendships, love, sense of control, and gender identity.

One way to combat this is to get involved in professional organizations geared towards minorities.  Black Law Student Organizations, Black Graduate Student Associations, even Black Greek organizations.  Because of our rarity we understand how valuable we are for not only our communities, but to give the majority population a name to go with “The Exception.”  What I mean by that is that we do not embody the stereotypes that many people may hold for black people, our mere presence in institutions of higher education are a testament to that.  However, it can be lonely, we can struggle with forming friendships and relationships because of the lack of people that can identify with us; not just professionally, but culturally as well.  We may feel that because we are outnumbered that we cannot make a difference, however that is untrue.  By organizing and vocalizing our points, we can then mobilize.

Are you a Black scholar or Black professional? Are you an active part of a Black professional organization?  How important do you think membership and activity is?

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One Response to “Black Scholars and Professionals”

  1. KaNisa November 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    I was big in NSBE in undergrad. Since I went to an Engineering school, that’s where most of the 4% Black people were at. There and Black pepo student union meetings.

    You can tell when those meetings are because those are the only two days people cared about how they looked, lol…

    At our school, the Black people were a community. Everyone knew and supported everyone else, especially since Georgia Tech is such a difficult school.

    Social life was what you made it…people partied hard when they had time, but they studied harder. There just wasn’t a lot of time or tolerance for social drama and fun because if you got caught up in what regular college students do, you flunked out or had “D” is for “done” ways about you.

    I sometimes wish I hadn’t gone there because it WAS so stressful all of the time…but I’m not sure I would have done well at a more social school.

    I felt more comfortable among my fellow nerds with social issues, lol…

    Plus, are the PWI students really lacking in those things or are they less strong in those areas?

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