Confessions of a Black Girl: My white school

What it’s like to be black in a “white school.”

by Torie Richardson, editor-in-chief

“Well, I go to a white school.”

I can’t remember in what context, but I remember saying this to some black high school and junior high kids on Sunday, and I remember them solemnly nodding like they understood everything I’d wanted to say from that one phrase.

To clarify, I love this “white school,” and wouldn’t trade my high school experience for any other. However, that doesn’t mean I love the fact that the percentage of STA’s racial diversity is pretty small. Sometimes, being one of the only black girls in the entire school kind of sucks because….

  1. You feel as if your actions are made to represent all black people, not just yourself or your family. If you’re the only black girl in a certain class, your perspective may be the only perspective your classmates have from a person of color and they might judge that all black people feel that way even though your opinion is just that – an opinion.
  2. No matter how comfortable you get, there’s always a reality check when someone points out how good your group of friends would look on the cover of some STA publication since you’re one of the only “ethnic” people in your grade. At some point it occurs to you that people look at you more often than you look in the mirror.
  3. When you’re outside of school, saying that you attend a predominately caucasian school somehow invalidates your blackness, but you always feel different among your peers when at school. Basically, you’re too white outside of school, but too black inside.

However, it’s really not all bad because…

  1. You’re not the only person to care about racial tension and issues locally and nationally. Your intelligent and well-informed peers seek justice and understanding and care about the well-being of those who are different than them.
  2.  You may have a limited perspective (I mean, you’re only one person), but your peers listen to and genuinely want to learn from you. They don’t pretend you’re not different – they learn from the differences
  3. Your school doesn’t ignore race either. It’s working to become more racially diverse and to educate students. You talk about racial issues inside and outside of class and see efforts being made to build amity and understanding among all student.

So no matter what others think about my “white” school, I’m proud to call STA my home. Really, the only colors anyone should imagine when characterizing STA are black and gold.