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EDUCATION I’m a Black Woman on My Way to Becoming a Doctor Because I Never Gave Up

Black Women in Education

EDUCATION I’m a Black Woman on My Way to Becoming a Doctor Because I Never Gave Up

By Oluwaseun Adebagbo, via

I grew up believing that excellence is not an option but rather an obligation. 

I breezed through high school. I didn’t have to study hard to do well on a test. I just got it. School came easy to me. I assumed college would be the same. I was wrong.

I started my first quarter at Stanford University with the notorious Chem 31A, Chemical Principles I, because that’s what every other pre-med was doing. Chemical Principles, I thought, how bad could this be? It couldn’t be much harder than my high school chemistry class, right? I approached Chem 31A the same way I approached high school—by just showing up for class and doing the problem sets. I barely made it through the class. I had never seen Cs before in my life, and suddenly, they just kept coming. Worst of all, at the time, it seemed like everyone else around me had it all figured out. Everyone but me seemed to have the pre-med playbook. 

Over winter break, I anxiously awaited my grades. Slowly but surely, the grades came in. In the end, I had earned a 2.4 for that…

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

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