For every person that you may know at a Historically Black College or University, the Average Bison knows 20.
You know someone who graduated from Morehouse in 2004? Well that Bison sitting on the steps of Fine Arts knows him, his roommate, his roommate’s entire Kappa line, their dean, and their dean’s twin brothers who graduated summa cum laude 5 years earlier and now work for Credit Suisse.
Your sister went Spelman’s homecoming last year? Well that Bison waiting for the Meridian shuttle in front of Architecture knows the Homecoming chair, her 3 assistants, participated in a debutante ball with the Homecoming Queen, and actually designed the poster for the Homecoming Fashion Show as a favor for their second cousin, a fashion show sponsor who graduated from Spelman in 99.
That’s right! When it comes to black colleges, 6 degrees of separation is more like 1, and everyone knows someone who knows everyone else!
However, in regards to non-HBCU students, it’s either those who attend Ivy League institutions*, and those poor lost black souls that attend schools with too many letters in their acronym like IUPUI or CSUSB.
The former is a valuable connection, because, among other reasons, having many friends who attend an Ivy League implies that they only hang out with smarties, and that they probably could have gotten into said Ivy had they not come to Howard for the “black experience”.
The latter is a laughing stock. Hahahaha. All together now.
Precaution: Do not ask Average Bison to rattle off the names of friends at Ivy League institutions as it will merit 1 of 2 responses:
1. A long list of friends who inevitably would never rush to rattle off a list of HBCU buddies, along with a reassurance that one could have attended such school, but they want “the black experience”
2. a speech about how Howard is the Black Harvard, and that SpelHouse (Spelman/Morehouse for the slow) rounds out the triumvirate also known as the Black Ivies.
*For argument’s sake we’ll extend today’s definition of Ivy League to schools such as Wesleyan, Georgetown, and any school with a really great basketball team.