Student Perspective: Graduation


What has happened to “The Modern Day African-American Woman?” We went from wanting degrees and fighting for rights, to dressing half naked, living for social sites and forgetting the importance of life. 

The word modern itself means the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past, but compared from then to now, I would say the women of the past were doing much better than we are. Where is the self-respect? Where are the standards? What happened to the drive of wanting more?

“Less is more” has always been an issue among women, especially African American woman. Nothing is wrong with wanting to show a little skin, especially if you’re a beautiful sister of color. Who wouldn’t mind seeing that? The problem comes in when you’re revealing too much, but expect a man or the public to accept and respect you. When you want someone to respect you, you have to give them something to respect.

In today’s time I run across more party promoters than nurses, more strippers than Alvin Ailey professional dancers, and more half-naked Instagram models than inventors and investors.  Can you blame me for being confused? Can you blame me for not understanding why such strong and powerful women choose to degrade themselves the way they do?

No longer do we look up to and glorify women who are doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, hairdressers, or any other woman who has worked hard for her position, but to those who we see on VH1 and BET. We see the women who are on TV, in magazines and on websites who come up in the world because of their husbands, dancing on the Internet, sleeping with someone who’s famous, half-naked models or anything dealing with making money fast.

Not to be mistaken, I’m not knocking anyone or what they choose do with their life; I just rather see you do better.  I understand school isn’t for everyone. I understand that everyone isn’t fortunate enough to attend, but there are other options.  The world has woman today thinking less is more, fast is better and fame is the pursuit of happiness, when in reality it’s not. 

We as African-American women can no longer demand respect from anyone, because we can’t be taken seriously. We rather see a woman who has on a sheer revealing dress than a nice fitting suit on the cover of a magazine, and praise them instead.  

We see this as an alternative or an “easy way out” instead of pursing what we love or may be passionate about doing, and convince ourselves we are living. But are we really? If dancing is your passion there are other ways to make money rather then dancing exotically. 

If school is not an option for you, consider getting a trade or finding other options that don’t include getting a degree. 

What I don’t think we realize is the fast money we make now won’t have an effect on our future because of the fast life that comes with making fast money. Aforementioned careers and opportunities can ensure that not only is your future protected, but the future of your family.   

Yes, times have changed, and yes, it’s a new day but what examples are we really setting for younger girls who look up to us? What role models are we to? We shouldn’t have them thinking that taking off their clothes or just being “famous” is the only way for them to live. The younger generation shouldn’t think school is just a secondary goal. We are modern day women, and we need a change!


Rameel Cleveland is a senior mass communication major from Detroit.