Navigating Your Way Through The Black Community

With Black History Month in full spin, I took time to realize how involved I have become in the Black community. When I came to college I had no idea of Black culture and its importance within the world. After taking an African American Studies class, noticing Black orgs, and seeing all the outreach, I decided I too wanted to see change and improvement in the Black community. I believe every Black person should be involved in at least one Black organization. However sometimes the Black community can seem a little intimidating, but hopefully this article can guide you in ways to become more comfortable in approaching Black organizations.

When going to a Black org event, always bring a friend. When I was a first-year student I had no Black friends (or friends in general) who were interested in attending events with me. As a result of that, I went to almost no events I wanted to go to. It honestly sucked and I was a homebody my first year, so I stayed in the comfort of my room. If you can find just one friend, roommate, or classmate to go with you to events, you will feel so much more comfortable in the environment. 

Another tip I have is to go to events with a mindset that is ready to learn. A lot of Black orgs are based upon history or scholarship, so learning new things will always be a big aspect of these organizations. Be sure to do some research or maybe ask around to see what they are all about. These orgs seek to help suffering communities or to help Black people to see their true potential and have been doing so for years. They take great pride in what they do, so go to events having respect. 

BE YOURSELF. I can not stress this enough. I struggled with acceptance of the Black community all through high school for a numerous amount of reasons. I listen to chill indie music, I longboard, and I even love the outdoors. Notice that these are things that are not typically associated with the Black community. I was scared to show my real side, so I was reserved when it came to talking about certain things. However, the beauty in college is the amount of acceptance that flows around. When I started going to events and getting comfortable, I started to show myself fully and was accepted. Now does that mean I do not still get weird looks sometimes? No, but I have my Black crew of friends now where we can express and be ourselves without judgment. 

I hope any Black students reading this can now navigate the Black community with confidence. 

Happy Black History Month, collegiettes!