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African-American 101: Students want to be recognized as individuals


Deanna Dent

These black students at Arizona State University want you to know one thing: There isn’t any one thing to know.

“Get to know me,” said Ashley Carter, a sophomore journalism major. “Don’t just judge me by how I look.”

Outgoing. Shy. Bubbly. Laid-back. Academic. Athletic. The members of ASU’s Black African Coalition are part of a diverse group that can’t be narrowly defined.

“If you were actually to go out and meet 100 and 200 different black people,” said ASU history professor Matt Delmont, contextualizing the students’ experiences, “you’d realize there are 100 and 200 different ways to be black.”

The students gathered in this video to share their perspectives, frustrations and hopes in honor of Black History Month. They’ve had their authenticity challenged, felt pressure to represent their entire race and wished African-American history was more of a focus throughout their education.

The video is part of a series from ASU Now that began with Native 101 and plans to expand to give women, Hispanics, veterans and other groups on campus an opportunity to share their own stories and help dispel stereotypes.


Video of Black 101