Thursday, May 8, 2008

Seeing Black Through White Eyes

I came across this interesting article that tells the story of Michelle Obama first meeting her Princeton roommates. The story is told not from Michelle's point of view but from that of her white roommates and one of the parents.

I added it because so much was made about Michelle Obama's comments about her time at Princeton (also quoted in the article). It's also interesting to learn what has happened in the many years since.


But her first day at Princeton held a surprise, too. And Donnelly knew it would mean confronting the past.

She walked into the historic Nassau Inn that evening and delivered the news to her mother, Alice Brown. "I was horrified," recalled Brown, who had driven her daughter up from New Orleans. Brown stormed down to the campus housing office and demanded Donnelly be moved to another room.

The reason: One of her roommates was black.

"I told them we weren't used to living with black people — Catherine is from the South," Brown said. "They probably thought I was crazy."

Read the entire article.


DWS said...

Interesting. I remember 3 of the 4AA students in my suite of 16 girls (freshman year) were all in the same room. Their roommate declined to move in when she discovered that she would be the only non-AA in the room. That was 1982.

VALARIE - Single, mother-to-be of two bright-eyed Ethio children. said...

I can relate too. When I went to school in 1984, I walked into the room and introduced myself. Before my roommate told me her name she said, "My parents told me it was okay if you're black but if you start bringing black men around I'm suppose to get the hell out." That was in the first five minutes. We didn't make it through the year. She called me a "N" loudly in the hallway and then she eventually moved out. Even though that was the 80's my friends children are unfortunately telling the same stories in 2008.

DWS said...

I have often wondered how much things have changed. Many of my friends children attend HBCUs.

Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]