Missed Opportunities

Great word. . Holla


Catherine Donnelly’s mother, a single White science teacher from New Orleans, was
understandably proud when she dropped her daughter off to start college at Princeton
University. Having dinner with Catherine that first night, the mother was shocked to learn
of her daughter’s first visitor—Craig Robinson, a junior and a Princeton basketball player,
had dropped by looking for his sister whom Catherine had yet to see. Craig was Black.
The next day, in order to get Catherine a new room assignment, her mother headed to
the housing office and telephoned influential Princeton alums in New Orleans. University
officials said no room change was possible until the second semester.

Catherine got along with her roommate Michelle for a term but barely acknowledged
her on campus. Michelle majored in sociology and wrote her senior thesis, “Princeton-
Educated Blacks and the Black Community.” While not specifically mentioning the slighting
by her first-semester roommate, Michelle…

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