The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday January 30th

Black women address challenges at UNC

(From left to right) Asia Gandy, and Joia Freeman share their experiences with the attendees of the Token Black Girl Event Wednesday afternoon.
Buy Photos (From left to right) Asia Gandy, and Joia Freeman share their experiences with the attendees of the Token Black Girl Event Wednesday afternoon.

That was one part of the discussion at an event hosted by the Celebration of Black Womanhood on Wednesday.

About 20 students joined the conversation on “The Token Black Girl: Your Assumed Role at a PWI.” PWI stands for predominately white institution.

Freshman Jada Weathers said she went to a predominantly black high school in Greensboro where people did not believe she got into UNC at first.

“I’m going to UNC with your daughter. It’s OK. Don’t be upset. I think it’s the fact that people assumed that since I am from that part of the town, I got to go to (N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University), which is five minutes away. No,” Weathers said.

Senior Kiyah McDermid said black students all have a similar experience of being specifically asked about their thoughts on black history when the topic is touched in class.

“I just felt like that’s how you navigate UNC,” McDermid said. “We’re always kind of looked at to represent our race at all times, especially when you’re with somebody or a group of students that are not your own race or ethnicity.”

Freshman Trinity Johnson said she experienced some culture shock at UNC after she came out of a high school with a diverse mix of peers.

“You’re trying to make friends with some people; they are not that open for some reason,” Jonson said.

Johnson said she has more confidence in her race than she did before.

“Maybe I’ve talked to the wrong people, but I do find a lot more comfort in my race,” she said.

Junior Katrice Mitchell, who is biracial, said she is open to interracial dating, but she gets comments about merely walking with someone white.

“Even when people see us together, we’re just friends, they are like, ‘Oh, you know, she’s black, and you’re super white’,” Mitchell said.

“I don’t know if there’s a super-white spectrum, but apparently there is.”

Freshman Isatta Feika said people should be more open-minded about embracing other communities.

“I believe people generally just have questions; they just don’t know. But if we are just angry at them for any little thing they say, it doesn’t solve anything,” Feika said. “We should be more open to each other.”

Weathers said she came to the event because, as a freshman and a female minority student, she wanted to know more about what others are experiencing at UNC.

She said she learned from the event to always embrace others, even people who are not like her.

“Everyone’s situation is different,” Weathers said. “No one is exactly the same. To be inclusive and not exclude people.”

university@dailytarheel.com



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