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Flipping the Switch

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

From Ohio high school to HBCU culture. A beaut.

Getting into the groove of any young mind can be a challenge but especially apparent when the transition into college is a new obstacle to experience and overcome. Take this from the perspective of a high school student that is preparing for the HBCU experience. The experience many have seen but little have had full exposure. The shows and movies once watched on television are brought to life in an environment of black excellence, family, and culture.

Growing up and being immersed in a white high school five days out of the week trying to create a strong identity while recognizing and identifying the things of my people I want to make a priority. The overall impact was transparent in various forms of the arts at Tennessee State University. The fashion designers and influences of style from around the country. The rappers all represent a different story of how they were brought up. The story tellers present testimonies of love and breakthrough in spoken word. The moment I stepped foot on campus the atmosphere was overwhelming. A Mecca of Hip Hop, Black Greek Life, and Artists showcasing their talents with a plethora of new identities emerging.

That feeling few students can relate to “too white for the black kids and too black for the white kids” trying to shade their color to fit one side of the spectrum in a form of self confinement. Practicing double consciousness and embracing every layer of individuality. Identifying the things one hopes to bring out in character while adding new qualities based on the standard of the “by any means necessary” attitude. The typical pop culture style within every classroom and observing white students mimic the hip hop street style in their fashion. Feeling as if you remain in a shadow of your own people because stepping out into something you haven’t been taught but are a student of.

The arts at an HBCU are more than appreciated. The expression in ways that new students are able to create themselves is a masterpiece. Planting seeds in the foundation of connecting with one another through art is a treasure that is certain to flourish. Continue to tend to new ideas and encourage those with apparent and different artistic mindsets. When examining the culture of an HBCU, the way one is bold in their identity is powerful. The overall dare to create attitude is unmatched and unmeasured. Create, discover, and share your untouched ideas of your brain with creators and influencers of the world.

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