My daughter recently visited the College of Wooster with forty-some students from Bronx Preparatory Charter School, where she teaches, all of them African-American or Latino. Wooster is a small town about 90 minutes south of Cleveland. It’s in farm country, and Margaret said her thoroughly urban students were a little creeped out by all the empty space and cornfields.
After the campus tour, a panel of minority Wooster students met the visitors and advised them while at Wooster to take care not to pass beyond certain boundaries on campus and in town. (Never go past the Wendy’s, they said.)
I don’t know if a black student has been beaten up or if young people of color are just made to feel uncomfortable if they stray too far from campus, but it’s shocking and distressing information in 2011.