The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

White-tivities at U.Va.

Jessica Moore explores the top 10 culture shocks for Black students at a Predominantly White Institution

Black students often face a number of hurdles after enrolling at the University. Not the least of which is the odd — and often inexplicable — behavior of their white peers. Below is a list of some examples. After going through the first list, please see the second one for important contextualization, resources and friendly advice. 

  1. Walking down the Corner and seeing every white girl wearing the same outfit. 
  2. The cringe of seeing the one millionth destroyed pair of Air Force 1s on your walk to class. 
  3. Finding and making eye contact with the one other Black person in your lecture hall — if there is one. 
  4. The group of white people trying to make you their token Black friend. 
  5. When you’re part of a Black organization on Grounds and The Cavalier Daily co-opts your work for the fifth time this week. 
  6. When you’re ready to collapse after your 27th codeswitch of the day. 
  7. White people literally refusing to accept facts about racial statistics. 
  8. When white people actually streaked the Lawn in the middle of the snowball fight. 
  9. When you’re the only Black person in your discussion section and the TA looks to you as if you represent your entire race. 
  10. When that one girl in your breakout room thinks she’s not racist because she listens to Kendrick Lamar. 

Here are the additions promised above —

  1. Just practically, I’m confused how all of you find the same clothes. Walking by the frat houses on weekends, I can honestly point out the same shirt at least five times. And I cannot forget to mention the month of the same tennis skirt, tank top and hair clip updo. Here’s a friendly reminder that everyone does not need to look the exact same.
  2. I must admit that I own a destroyed pair of Air Force 1s. However, here’s a quick tip — buy one pair for the day and one pair for going out. 
  3. In 2020, Black people only made up 6.74 percent of the University community. However, perhaps there is hope for the Class of 2026 — there was a 72 percent increase in Black early decision admits compared to the previous year. 
  4. Yes, your Black friends are likely funnier than you. However, please try to make your own jokes. Yes, they likely have a better style than you. But please try to put a good outfit together yourself. And a reminder to white students on Grounds, Black people are under absolutely no obligation to educate you on what is or is not racist — here is a list of some anti-racist resources to get started.
  5. I say this as a dedicated member of The Cavalier Daily, please continue to reach out and hold us accountable. As a predominantly white organization, we must recognize our privileged position and respect those whose work we are citing. 
  6. As opinion columnist Aliyah White recently reminded us, Black people are under no obligation to change themselves to make white people comfortable. 
  7. Recently, a member of the Free Food and Merch GroupMe sent in the chat the petition for two new Honor referenda along with the explanation that Honor’s current reporting disproportionately targets Black, Asian and International students. In turn, someone promptly responded that the — literally factual — data was incorrect and didn’t make sense. So yes, in 2022, there are still people who do not understand what “disproportionately target” means. 
  8. I attended the snowball fight. For me, the snow, the hundreds of people in attendance and the fact that those streaking got pelted with snowballs were each enough reason to not streak. But for white students at the University, wahoowa, I guess. 
  9. No Black person represents their entire race. Respect and listen to Black people, but they are not responsible for giving the “Black perspective.” Here’s a hint, there is no one Black perspective. 
  10. First of all, please refer yourself to the above list on anti-racist resources. Yes, Kendrick Lamar is an amazing artist. But, you do not get a get-out-of-jail-free-card to say “I’m not racist” because you’ve listened to and posted on Instagram about “To Pimp a Butterfly.” 

Jessica Moore is the Executive Editor for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at