By Aamari Benford
For decades, many students at Xavier University of Louisiana have found love at this Historically Black College University (HBCU) and feel a deep connection to each other. This Valentine’s Day, student couples shared what makes Black college love different to them, and how it is special.
On the afternoon of Feb. 14, 2023, Xavier student couple, Taylor Joseph and Adrian Thornton where in the school’s University Center after attending a Black history month program held on Xavier’s campus. Joseph and Thornton said they have been together for about 5 months. They met each other at Xavier and are both chemistry majors. As HBCU students the couple said it was important to balance school with a relationship.
“Thankfully we are both chemistry majors, we’re both seniors, we are both doing research,” said Thornton, who also serves as the Student Government Association vice president. “We are both trying to go to med school so there’s a lot of understanding. There are times we don’t get to spend as much time together but we both understand each other,” Thornton added.
Love came at the end of their Xavier journey for Joseph and Thornton who started their relationship in their senior year at Xavier.
“Love can be unexpected. I wasn’t expecting this to happen when it did,” Joseph said.
At an HBCU, love and the essence of Black love specifically may stem from bonding connections. Areas like race and culture hold are significant for many couples. These contributing factors may aid in forming connections through similarities and comfort.
Standing outside near a parking lot, freshman student couple Morgan Choates and Royce Little were having a conversation before heading to class. They have been in a relationship for about 5 months now, also. The couple met in their history class, started spending time together at Xavier’s Cafe Noir and continued to grow the relationship from there.
“It’s being able to connect with others of your own culture and race. Sharing that connection that you can’t find with other people,” Choates said.
“It makes it more genuine, like you are more connected to the person,” Little added.
The majority of students at Xavier are STEM majors. Many of these students are in school to become scientists, doctors, phycologists, engineers and more. Having a community that one can associate with is motivating and uplifting for some.
Couple Amoria Williams and Ayana Rutledge are both women in STEM at Xavier. Williams majors in psychology and Rutledge is a biology pre-med major. For 6 months they have been in a relationship.
In a relationship it is important to be there for each other, to help each other grow and set goals together. At Xavier, these student couples manage their HBCU love with studies.
“We motivate each other, we study together. I feel like being together in college is better because we can work and study together,” Williams said