How/Why I Spotted a Young Black Haitian Man on the Prestigious & Predominantly White Northwester
This article concerns how and why I spotted a young Black Haitian man on the prestigious and predominantly White or non-Black Northwestern University campus, in Evanston, Illinois. By the way, Evanston, Illinois is one of the most pristine and high-class places that I have ever visited. I, sincerely, love the place, so much that I have the tendency to want to live there some day. Exquisite homes for people with a refined taste for properties... simply LOVELY!
Anyhow, let me not get sidetracked and focus on the story. it was a beautiful Thursday afternoon, and I was having a conversation with this young White brother about college admission, Mathematics, Physics (Applied Math) at the aforementioned prestigious campus, when I noticed this young Black Brother who stood out in the all White student crowd. Of course, that sort of halted my conversation with the young White man momentarily because I knew I had to shake the hand of that young Black brother to encourage him because, having been in his position, I know that he must have worked very hard, and overcome many obstacles to get into a school of that nature, and either have parents with money or was on a scholarship. Either way, he had the WILL, and PASSION to be there, and I could feel his determination from his walk and demeanor.
Moreover, I noticed something that was hanging out of his pocket, and even from a distance, I knew it was a Haitian flag. Accordingly, I took the chance to YELL in CREOLE "SAK PASE, A PA GEN YON LAKAY NAN ZONE NAN" (i.e., what's going on, that one of my country man is on this campus). He was so pleased to have been spotted and at that time both the White young man, and this Haitian young man were wondering how I knew that this Black young man was Haitian despite the fact that he could have been from anywhere (as his phenotype/facial features did not indicate a particular geographic setting, and he was wearing a hoodie anyway.)
I can tell that he fell like a celebrity. For sure he was CELEBRATED!
I immediately thought of the Broken Black Boy (BBB) syndrome , and how nice it would have been to see more Black young men not just on just predominantly or Historically Black colleges and Universities (HBCUs), but also on more prestigious campus like that of Northwestern.
The reality is that most rich young folks who are overachievers (i.e., mostly Asians and Whites) will end up in one of the top-tier schools which are often predominantly White. And many Black kids who may be able to go to such schools may not feel as comfortable in a predominantly White school as this young man does.
I personally don't carry a Haitian flag in my pocket. I used to a have a ring of the Haitian flag but I often felt it was too tacky to wear it along. But, in the case of this young man, his wearing of the said the following to me:
1. He is proud about his Haitian heritage (something that I am not necessarily proud of anymore).
2. It induced me to, intuitively, stop my car to shake his hands to encourage him and acknowledge his efforts and I can tell that it meant a lot to both of us.
3. It linked him to something special -- perhaps his family members back home or something that is much deeper than Haiti itself and perhaps even his very soul.
While one day he might end up going through the same love-and-hate phase that I am going through when it comes to my homeland, I recalled using Haitian history to motivate me by recalling that MY ANCESTORS fought insurmountable odds to induce our homeland to become the first Black republic. Thus, despite the fact that the modern day Haiti is a disastrous place in which on can live, I understand what that flag might actually mean for him.
Although I will probably never meet this young man again, I will never forget his amazing smile and handsome face. For a moment, I felt the spirit of PAPA (FATHER) TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE, the progenitor and Haitian Mastermind of Black freedom World wide who outsmarted all of Europe and was tricked to die in a dungeon in France in the end.
Prior to dying, TOUSSAINT, le premier des noirs (#1 among ALL BLACKS ever), wrote the following words:
"By finally tricking and overthrowing me, they have only broken down the TRUNK of the tree of Black freedom, but it (the tree) will grow back through its deep and numerous roots"
While Papa Toussaint is no longer with us, HIS SPIRIT always relieves through roots like myself, this young man and others. For this reason, while I may not be proud of the modern day Haiti, I'm proud of the History that my Haitian forefathers left. One of courage in the face of insurmountable obstacles.
TODAY - I pray for this young man, and all young Black men out there who feel lost and hopeless at times. I pray for their success despite all odds. I used to be one of them as a teenager. I will continue to do my part, and pray that countless other will emerge to induce America at large to repair the souls of our Broken Black Boys (BBBs)
Dr. Pete Lorins is the Chief Editor of LorinsPOST.com. This article was sponsored by LORINS.biz
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