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Fri Feb 12, 2021, 07:42 AM

We Were the Last of the Nice Negro Girls

In 1968, history found us at a small women’s college, forging our Black identity and empowering our defiance.


I knew nothing about the multitude of small colleges across the U.S. that had been founded, many by religious institutions, for the specific purpose of educating white women. Nor did I know anything about “suitcase schools,” some of which had reputations as glorified finishing schools where girls were focused on meeting boys attending nearby institutions. (They were called “suitcase schools” because on Fridays the girls took off to spend the weekend with their prospective husbands.) But in 1966, as my counselor put it to my mother, many of these all-girls colleges were “looking for nice Negro girls like Anna.”


Like any self-respecting Negro, as I took my seat I counted every single person with color in their skin. Beaver College recruiters had found seven “nice Negro girls,” including myself. There was no Black Students’ Union. We were not even “Black” yet. We made eye contact and nodded toward each other.


One evening, four nervous white girls visited me in the study room of my dorm. Beaver was a small school, less than 1,000 students, but none of these girls were in classes that I took. They wanted to tell me that their roommate, who was from the Deep South, had flown a Confederate flag from the wishing well in the center of campus after Beaver had won a lacrosse game. Perhaps I’d heard about it? I hadn’t. Their roommate had a big personality, and they assumed that I’d noticed her around campus. I had not.

The purpose of the meeting: Would I be willing to function as ambassador to the Negroes in our freshman class and explain that their roommate meant no harm? Why had they chosen me? More perplexing, why had they assumed we seven were a group?

I started with the three girls who’d gone to the same high school and hung together. The consensus was to give the southern girl the benefit of the doubt.



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Reply We Were the Last of the Nice Negro Girls (Original post)
no_hypocrisy Feb 2021 OP
d_r Feb 2021 #1

Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Fri Feb 12, 2021, 09:08 AM

1. This is a good read

Well worth reading entire article, thanks for posting.

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