Just more than ten years ago, I was wrapping up my sophomore year at Delaware State University. I had spent two years in their print journalism department and had worked my way from a regular reporter to sports editor and then finally news editor at the school paper, The Hornet.
That last semester I spent wondering about the most significant phenomena of my time at DSU, I was a white student at a historically black college, one of only two white journalism majors in my department at the time.
Both my fellow students at my teachers encouraged me to write about the "white student experience" at Del State, and in doing so, I often drew into the conversation the other big school in the state: The University of Delaware.
This reflection brought to you by the historic meeting of my Del State Hornets with the (some say mighty) Fighting Blue Hens.
Some fact memories from that time:
- Despite Del State being known as "the black school," the student body at Del State was 75 percent black, and 25 percent everything else. The student body at UD was 96 percent white. No one called it the "white school."
- When I was high school there were more than a few urban myths about Del State, as you might imagine there are for Evergreen in Olympia. One was a mysterious female student that spread AIDS throughout the school. I was warned not to get AIDS before I started attending.
- Did I mention that Del State and UD have never played each other before. I think this has as much to do with the relatively tight football schedule (as compared to baseball or basketball, which the two schools have played against each other) and that UD has been a historic football power, and DSU not, as it has to do with race. But, in part, race had some part to play.
DSU v UD section of the Delaware News Journal
With matchup finally set, football talk heats up