As an African-American male majoring in political science, Darius Whitney is always one of few black students in his classes.
He feared making a stupid comment and hearing students around him whisper, “He’s black. That makes sense.”
On Thursday night Whitney, alongside two other black males, faced a small crowd of predominantly minority students and shared his story, including his struggles and hopes for minority male students. The panel discussion, hosted by the UNC Carolina Millennial Scholars Program , examined why it is important for minority males to be successful.
“It’s really hard to show the other side of you that’s not black,” Whitney said. “Other people who don’t have that puzzle piece, it’s hard for them to not look at you as having that puzzle piece.”
Psychology major Osiris Rankin, another panelist at Wednesday’s event, agreed that being known as the ‘other’ is less than ideal.
“It’s not that I don’t want to be known as black, it’s that I don’t only want to be known as black,” he said.
Rankin did not let his blue-collar background and failing high-school grades hinder him from attending community college and now, UNC.