Unless you have been living in a cave over the last couple of days, you know who Gabby Douglas is. I commend her for staying confident and positive in the midst of the media-firestorm...
Recently, Spelman College made efforts to congratulate Gabby Douglas in London. According to TMZ, Spelman sent her a gift bag and Dr. Beverly Tatum expressed an interest in Gabby as a potential student at the historically black college. Whether or not you believe that Spelman is "going too hard" or that it's a "lost cause" is irrelevant. Quite frankly, you don't know Gabby. That seems to be the problem here. Everyone thinks they know what she'll do or how she should do it.
There are pros and cons for Gabby to consider. If she wants to attend a school with gymnastics and athletics then Spelman (who recently decided to stray from their athletics department) may not be the best choice. However, Spelman is an exceptional institution that instills a solid pride and understanding of one's past. Similarly, Spelman has a track record of grooming women to change the world (seriously, the world). Why is Spelman thirsty for congratulating a successful girl on her national triumph? Honestly, they'd be a fool not to want her. Nevertheless, just because we know what Gabby Douglas can do, it does not mean that we know who she is as a person. We should all let her live and enjoy her success.
[What's probably the most obnoxious thing are the twitter comments and TMZ comments online.]
"Why is there a need for such segregation in this day and age? A black college? Such a thing shouldn't exist, anymore than a "white college" should."
"This is ridiculous, a BLACK COLLEGE? While Martin Luther King Jr, preached abolishing segregation he sent his kids to an all black school? Why even today? Black Rights groups would complain about an all white college. Just have regular colleges not just one race at each!"
"I heard a rep from the bronx zoo was trying to talk to her."
-- The last comment that I posted is the reason that there is a need for HBCUs. There are such things as "white colleges" and they are called PWIs (predominately white institutions) - Yale, Harvard, Princeton, UCLA, and many more. Don't get me wrong. I commend the African American students who attend these schools- regardless of marginalization and underrepresentation. Let's not forget the protests that happened in 2008 over the embarrassingly low rate of African Americans that were admitted at UCLA (despite the students academic competitiveness). Trust me, "white college" exist. When looking at these TMZ comments, It astonishes me how people can go through the hassle of commenting on the site, but refuse to do their research. If they did, they would know that Martin Luther King Jr. attended Morehouse College (an HBCU) and they would know the sentimental value of these schools. These pretentious commenters would also know that HBCUs do not turn away students of other ethnic backgrounds. It is a HISTORICALLY black college. This means that it was founded during segregation when white people would literally lynch us if we stepped foot on their campuses. These comments (especially the ones from Morehouse men on twitter) are disheartening. We need to pay attention to the real problem, not pull each other down like crabs in a barrel.
Clearly, there is still a need for HBCUs and a need for enlightenment. My senior year in high school, i was told that slavery was needed for economic reasons. After this thorough graze over slavery, we moved onto the next subject matter in U.S. history. I needed Spelman. Now, Spelman needs me. I'll always stick up for my alma matter's relevance in society. I suggest others do the same.
to see more ignorant TMZ commentary (and a sprinkle of enlightened ones): TMZ article