Alanie Abron: ‘I hope that I can empower at least one person to share their story’

by Alanie Abron

My experience as a Black student at SDSU has been better than some. I have yet to be racially profiled on campus or wrongfully stalked by school police, so I guess you can say I am privileged in that way. 

However, the overwhelmingly low accounts for Black students, faculty, and staff made it difficult for me to feel entirely at home while attending SDSU. 

As a first-year student, I believed I didn’t belong at the university and continuously felt lost and depressed. Nonetheless, I grew to love SDSU because of the people that occupy it.

I have always been an academic overachiever but I felt as though my voice was only valued within Africana Studies classes. My worldview developed as I learned the truth behind Black Wall Street, Intersectionality, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Black Femininity, and even more complex Black topics not taught in other areas of academia. 

Residential life as a Black woman was isolating as I found myself in many toxic environments. During my freshman year, I was one of three Black people on my residential floor. I was labeled as aggressive, sassy, and intimidating three of the many negative stereotypes placed on Black women to minimize their self-worth). 

Compared to freshmen year, my sophomore year was an even worse experience. I was the only Black woman in my apartment and in the apartment complex. This year, in particular, I experienced a very traumatizing incident that made me very aware of my Blackness. After the completion of my finals, I had work responsibilities and personal reasons that required me to stay longer. I was alone with my white roommate and wanted to bring a friend over to cook dinner. A few moments after letting her know, I was met with hostility. This roommate called me disrespectful, yelled at me, slammed the door in my face, and implied that I was not welcome in the apartment. She screamed, “why are you still here?” Out of fear of playing into her victim narrative as “the angry Black woman,” I bit my tongue and dined out with my friend instead. 

After crying alone, I started to believe that all of the passive aggressiveness and hypocrisy leading up to the incident were because of the simple fact that I was Black. I rarely came home after that. 

Instead, I found solace in my involvement in the Black community on campus. 

I escaped to the Black Resource Center (BRC) between classes because it was the only place where I felt safe. Spaces such as the Student African American Sisterhood (SAAS), Black Business Society (BBS), and the Afrikan Student Union (ASU) gave me the tools to deal with racist encounters. Black organizations at SDSU also opened my eyes to how other Black students experienced similar (or worse) transgressions while attending SDSU.

As I step into my role as A.S. Student Diversity Commission Representative, I will make sure that no one else feels powerless because of their race, spirituality, financial background, appearance or any other aspects of their identity. By voicing my experience at SDSU, I hope that I can empower at least one person to share their story as well.

Alanie Abron is a junior studying marketing and serves as Associated Students Diversity Commission Representative.

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