Black experiences, shared connection

Figuring out what it means to be a black student

I know in a broader sense what it means to be a black woman based on my own experiences. However, I would like to know how the adjective of black experiences describes a different noun when thinking of a black student.

While also thinking of how the black experiences African Americans face in the day-to-day world, transitions to the academic world of black student life at Coastal Carolina University.

At first, I didn’t see the two worlds reflecting each other. I thought my experiences of being in my everyday world would not appear in my experiences at Coastal until I noticed that even on campus, there was a lack of awareness between me and others that looked like me.

Sometimes I would look into the faces of other black students and wouldn’t receive the same acknowledgments if any, as they would give their white counterparts or among themselves in small groups of people they knew.

I felt isolated and unsure as a black student, unable to find safety and understanding in those to whom I could relate—constantly comparing my experiences on campus to the possible different experiences of other predominantly black schools. I would wonder if I was the only one who had the same thought from time to time.

Until I came across a fellow student off-campus, who had the same experiences, at this point, I began to wonder if there were others and if, perhaps, what other experiences being a black student at Coastal we share.

As I continue these observations of being a black student at CCU, I look forward to learning and hearing what it means to be a black student for others here.