Afro-American Society President-elect James Hunter ’95 is a model minority.
Hunter, a black man from a relatively poor urban neighborhood in Los Angeles, Calif., said he hopes his successes at a predominantly-white college can make him a positive role model for other students of African-American descent.
A double major in history and film studies, Hunter said he plans to attend law school after graduation.
Besides leading the AAm, the College’s black students organization, Hunter next year will also be the Area Coordinator of the Gold Coast cluster, an intern at the Dean of the College’s Office and vice-president of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha.
As the vice-president of Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically all-black fraternity, Hunter said he wants to bring the black fraternities into stronger relations with the more “mainstream” Greek houses.
“We want to show that the black fraternities are not separatist and violent as some people may think we are,” Hunter said.
In the past, Hunter has served in various positions on the AAm executive committee. As president , he said he hopes to increase the range of programming events of the AAm and he wants to continue the AAm’s commitment to bringing diverse speakers to the College.
Hunter also plans to compile a computer database of AAm alumni, who would form a support group for current black students in securing recommendations and jobs.
Hunter tackled the issue of separatism on campus.
“African-Americans don’t willingly separate themselves. We have to recognize that there not only racial divisions, but also divisions based on economic class. People feel more comfortable with people in their own economic bracket, and often that means mostly those of a particular race,” he said.
While we should strive for the ideal of an integrated campus, Hunter said we must recognize the differences between our backgrounds and heritage. He said since people tend to gravitate towards those with whom they have common interests, it is unrealistic to try to achieve a perfect community blind of racial and economic lines.
“The way to solve the problem of segregation is up to each individual to go up to others of different backgrounds and to make the effort to be more open and welcoming and find something which you have in common with that other person,” he said.
Hunter said he did not expect a repeat of the controversy surrounding last year’s AAm elections, in which Amiri Barksdale ’96 resigned after he was elected president, citing political conflicts within the AAm.
“As far as my wanting to quit as president, that couldn’t be farther from the truth,” Hunter said.
Hunter said he is ready to work with vice-president-elect Lewis Berry ’97 and secretary-elect Evelyn Waters ’95 next year. He cited them as “very strong, and able to deal well with people.”