I was fairly excited to be attending a major university. At that time, this institution was ranked in the U.S. News top 25 academically. Its athletic teams were perennial champions in a number of sports.
One thing I noticed very early on, however, was how rudely many administrative staff treated black students, especially myself. They did not want to lift a hand to help you. Nevertheless, I remained congenial, always saying “hello” upon entering an office.
Then, one day, I and a black football player friend stopped by the Cashier’s Office together. The usual clerk sat there and looked at me with that familiar, “you are subhuman trash” expression, until she saw my partner. Then, she called him over and helped him with a smile. I stood there and listened, then asked, “so, that is all we have to do?”
“Yeah,” she answered, gruffly, never wanting me to hear how to fill out the necessary forms to stay in school. The message was clear. Unless you played a sport, your blackness was intolerable at this institution.
I was embarrassed for getting treated like the descendant of a slave that I am.
But, I learned a lesson. I knew, then, that those campus racists hated me and that I seriously disliked them.
For years afterward, I never spoke a kind word to any of those administrative clerks. I would figure things out, then report to the office and throw the paperwork on their desks.
Slowly, but surely, they were trying to turn me into a racist, similar to them.
—-10 Keys to African American History is a book written by an historian who has taught in major colleges and published in top academic journals. He believes campus administrators and local school board leaders obstruct the teaching of black history to such a degree that most students graduate with no real understanding about race.
This book takes the ten most important concepts in African American History and explains them for a general audience. Knowledge of self can save your life.