Labels: Africans in Diaspora, Diaspora, Education, International Students, Nigeria, Nigerians in Diaspora, Race, Study Abroad
Someone actually said this to me just before I started college here in the US.
He worked at Pizza Hut in the university town I would call home for the rest of my undergraduate life. Unknown to me, the college I was enrolled in had a long, negative history of racial prejudice against black people.
So, he felt he needed to tell these "Africans" (I was with my family) the gospel truth. He essentially discouraged us (my sister and I) from attending that college in particular. Apart from the generally awful racial history, he told us (paraphrased):
"If you're black, no professor will give you an "A." They don't give black people "As" in that school."
Now, I don't want to discount what he said and dismiss it casually. I generally believe there is no smoke without fire, and that something must have happened either to him personally or to someone or some people he knew to make him arrive at that conclusion.
But, my own experience was very different.
Not only did I prove him wrong, but so did several other African and African-American students, who excelled academically in the same school. Based on that boy's comment, that should never have happened in a school where most of the teachers and professors were white (typical American public university).
Pizza boy was wrong.
Just imagine, if I took his words to heart, and didn't study or put in the work that teachers expect from students. I would have gotten those poor grades he talked about, but for a completely different reason, having nothing to do with race.
I still live not too far from the university town, and I have experienced racism first hand on many occasions. Believe me, Racism is alive and well in America, especially here in the South. But you cannot afford to let it define your entire existence.
Don't let anyone poison your mind with negative stereotypes. Give people a chance, and your own experience might be different.