On the Edge of the Elite
Sometime earlier this year, I was waiting for the walk sign that would let me cross from Harvard Yard to Harvard Square. I can’t quite remember where I was heading, only that I had a million and one things to do once I got there — and maybe because I was so caught up, I almost missed the yelling behind me.
If you’re on your own, that’s one obstacle. If you’re a woman, that’s another. If you’re a woman of color on your own, well, you might just want to stop and reconsider this whole “adventure” thing.
Harvard is an elite kind of place, stating it as such almost seems redundant at this point. Perhaps we can’t fault the institution for its nature, not when its inception was based on curating the best and brightest (and by no coincidence, the most socio-economically well off). So instead, we like to celebrate how far Harvard has come since the days its student body had largely been comprised of white men.
As I lie awake, I’ll listen to my sister’s soft breathing beside me, and if I strain my ears I can even hear the whirring of my brother’s fan from across the room the three of us have always shared. Usually when I turn on my side, I’m not surprised to see the light on in the dining room — I’m not the only sleepless one in the family.