Apr 27, 2014
I'm a Junior at a state University. I'm currently taking a Microbiology class to satisfy my major/minor. Its the first biology class I've had in about 8 years (didn't take it in high school and my first real class where I have no background in the material (didn't take Chemistry either). Despite that I'm doing really, really well. I'm scoring 10 points above the class average. However, I'm not confident enough to participate in the discussion/questions and answers. I sit in the first row, but I'm afraid to answer a question out of fear that I'll get the answer wrong, and make black people look bad. Like I said, this has never really been an issue before, but its really hindering me in this class. I don't participate in group activities, or go to tutoring for the same reason.Anybody ever have this issue?


5+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2013
Resident [Any Field]
This seems to be more of a self esteem issue than anything else, unless you truly are the ambassador to black people -- if the latter, I didn't know we voted for you this year, I must have missed the ballot.

Maybe there's more to this story, but you're overthinking it and you probably aren't giving the other people enough credit to see you as more than a slough of skin. For disparate reasons, there was time in my undergrad and even know here I hold off from interjecting, but it's because when I'm pretty certain I have no idea what I'm talking about at the moment I'd rather hold my questions for the end.

For you, you're paying thousands of dollars for your education, get your moneys worth.
  • Like
Reactions: Copernicium


5+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2014
I graduated from an HBCU and am currently working at a predominately White and Asian institution, so I kinda know where you're coming from. All I can say is to do what you can for yourself REGARDLESS of what your fellow students ,and "black people" for that matter, may think. I highly doubt if people of any other ethnicity hesitate to answer questions ,or seek help, for fear of making their entire race look bad. At the end of the day it is your class,your coursework, your time and money wasted. Do whats best for you to get the grade you want. You'll be amazed at how many of your fellow classmates who wont notice ,nor care,about how stupid you'll sound.
  • Like
Reactions: Just kiss me


5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2014
philadelphia, pa
I know what you mean I did my undergrad in biomedical engineering so not only was I the black person in my class a lot of times one of the only girls in my class. Students in class are not concerned about you being the spokesperson of your race (for better or worse your classmates have already made up their opinions of your race as a whole by then I fee and that mindset may actually be annoying to some because having best friends not in that class already shown them racial stereotypes are wrong) so seek help if its really effecting you and don't let it bother you.