How did you end up at Williams?
When I was in high school in North Carolina, I went to see the guidance counselor about going to college. This was the mid-80s. The guidance counselor told me that I shouldn’t really be thinking about going to college and that as a black woman my only option would be the military and that I shouldn’t come back and ask her about going to college. I went home and told my family. My mother worked for a family who told me that I needed to get out of the town. They agreed to pay my tuition to a private boarding school – we could not have afforded it otherwise.
My sister had gotten out of the town by participating in the ABC program and spending her high school years in Minnesota before going to Dartmouth so I knew there was another path than the one my guidance counselor told me about.
I wanted to go to Williams to major in art history. It was my favorite class in high school. Right before I got to Williams, I had a conversation with one of my mother’s cousins who gave me what she thought was really good advice. She said, “don’t major in art history, you’ll never get a job. We’ve all struggled to hard to watch you go to college and not get a job.” I don’t think she meant to give me bad advice – that’s what she knew.