Black People Politics : Michelle Obama's college roommate

Discussion in 'Black People Politics' started by oldsoul, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    Georgian recalls rooming with Michelle Obama
    By BRIAN FEAGANS Published on: 04/13/08
    Catherine Donnelly shopped at Kmart, settled into her dorm room and soaked up the Gothic stone buildings where, over the next four years, she would grow into her own woman. But her first day at Princeton held a surprise, too. And Donnelly knew it would mean confronting the past. She walked into the historic Nassau Inn that evening and delivered the news to her mother, Alice Brown. "I was horrified," recalled Brown, who had driven her daughter up from New Orleans. Brown stormed down to the campus housing office and demanded Donnelly be moved to another room. The reason: One of her roommates was black. "I told them we weren't used to living with black people — Catherine is from the South," Brown said. "They probably thought I was crazy."
    Today both Donnelly, an Atlanta attorney, and Brown, a retired schoolteacher living in the North Carolina mountains, look back at that time with regret. Like many Americans, they've built new perceptions of race on top of a foundation cracked by prejudices past — and present. Yet they rarely speak of the subject.
    Barack Obama's run for president changed that. When the Democratic senator from Illinois invited more dialogue on race last month, Donnelly and Brown, both lifetime Republicans, were ready. But their willingness to talk isn't a response to the candidate born to a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya. It's more about Obama's wife, Michelle. She's that roommate from a quarter century ago.
    [​IMG]
    Shock to the stereotype​
    The acceptance letter from the Ivy Leagues was really the culmination of two peoples' hard work. "My mother was thrilled," Donnelly jokes, that she got into Princeton. Divorced and living paycheck to paycheck, Brown found a way to get her only child into New Orleans' elite Isidore Newman School: She taught 8th-grade science there. They were a mother-and-daughter team, then with the surname Rodrigue.
    Donnelly, now 44, captained the basketball and volleyball teams. She was the homecoming queen. And she racked up science and math awards, often with the help of her mother. But the "Three R's" weren't the only thing Donnelly learned from an early age. There was a fourth one. Her mother and grandmother filled her head with racist stereotypes, portraying African- Americans as prone to crime, uneducated and, at times, people to be feared.
    Brown, 71, explains that she was raised to think that way. She recalls hearing her grandfather, a sheriff in the North Carolina mountains, brag about running black visitors out of the county before nightfall. And Brown's parents held on to the n-word like a family heirloom. In fact, upon learning that her daughter had a black roommate at Princeton, Brown's first call was to her own mother. Her suggestion: yank Donnelly out of school.
     
  2. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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  3. roarin1

    roarin1 Banned MEMBER

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    I remember twenty-five years ago like it was yesterday, and I AM sure that that white woman does too. I have a twenty-eight year old Daughter.

    But that kinda racism in THIS day and age? Just try sharing this truth with certain knuckle heads today--they say...... 'we live ina post racial world!'

    Yeah...o.k......full of walt disney and every other type of fantasy one could dream up.

    *sigh*

    Whatever.


    ROARIN.......
     
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