“This was actually my first year on campus in the dorms maybe a couple of months into school...another student on my floor and I were talking. I'm not entirely sure what about but somehow we got to talking about where we were from and we were both from New York, so he asked me what part. I said ‘Manhattan’ and again he prompted, ‘Where in Manhattan?”. I finally gave in and responded with ‘Harlem,’ which is a predominantly black neighborhood in Manhattan, NYC.

    I don't remember if he laughed/chuckled or just what but his reaction made me say to him, "What?" and he replied, "I'm just surprised is all." And I asked, "Why?" to which he replied something to the effect of, "Well, there aren't a lot of smart people coming from Harlem."

    It made my blood boil because Harlem is comprised of amazing, bright, intelligent, skilled Black people and it has been at every moment in its long history of standing as a landmark of the Black Community and her culture, even if those on the outside looking in couldn't see that through the effects of the racist systems of oppression that have been used to suppress us physically, culturally and economically. This boy clearly knew that and wished to continue to suppress all the greatness and pride that people from Harlem carry. The pride that I'd learned to carry. And not to worry, I defended myself against him that day and challenged his remarks, but I do regret not doing so to the extent and with the context that I will do now.”

-Anonymous current student