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Black Southern Belles of Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA

Southern University and A & M College has reigned as a dominant Historically Black University in the South for quite some time, especially being the largest HBCU in the state of Louisiana. As a result, everyone in Louisiana knows that there are no fans or students quite like those of Southern University. When you think SUBR, you think history, identity, heritage, knowledge, power, class, belonging, unity, and more. However, I think we all can agree, there is something special about the Southern Woman.

I recently interviewed three young women that are currently walking the SUBR campus. During the interview process, I got a feel for each of their Southern Belle experiences at Southern University.

Brittany Short graduated Cum Laude from Southern University in 2015, earning a degree in Political Science.  She, now, attends Southern University Law Center as a Juris Doctorate Candidate. Having the full SU experience, Brittany has attained a decorated resume’ that is filled with sorority involvement, as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and academic excellence.

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Burgundy Hammond, the second interviewee, has a unique backstory. Earning her degree in Criminal Justice from Grambling State, Southern University’s rival HBCU, Burgundy is currently in Southern University Law Center. Her resume’ contains sorority involvement, as a member of Delta Sigma Theta, school involvement, and even serving as Ms. Junior for Grambling State University.

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Lastly, Ms. Corinne Vaughn is currently enrolled in Southern University’s undergraduate program, also majoring in political science. Corinne’s resume’ includes numerous hours of volunteer work, experience within her field, and a variety of mentorship roles. Not to mention, she has several academic accolades and a great deal of achievements where student involvement is concerned, being crowned Miss Junior & “The 86th Miss Southern”.

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After reading their introductions, it goes without saying that the women of Southern University are beyond excellent. They are outstanding! As an upcoming Southern University Law Center student, this interview was both informative and inspiring.  -If you think you enjoyed their introduction, check out the interview below:

 

BSB: How would you describe your personal style as?

Brittany: My style is laid back, funky, and chic! I love a little glam all while being classy and you can never go wrong with a pop of color!

Burgundy: I would describe my personal style as trendy, classic, & tasteful for each occasion whether it’s church or a night out with my girlfriends.

Corinne: My personal style is whatever I’m feeling. Some days, I feel like a glitter and glow Queen, so you can expect a full face with shine and bronzer, but some days, I bring out the sneakers and hoodies. I might do a red lipstick with that look. 

 

BSB: What are your favorite places to shop for SU events? What are your must-have pieces?

Brittany: Shopping for Homecoming is ALWAYS a headache! There are so many events for that entire week that you have to be sure to cover the basics. My go-to places for Homecoming attire, or any event really are Forever21, Misguided, Fashion Nova, UrbanOG, Boohoo, and Steve Madden.  My must have pieces usually include a couple cute jeans, usually ripped jeans, since my line sisters and I usually get one or two matching shirts, a full outfit for the concert, and usually a nice dress or romper or two to go out in on the weekend. Also, I have to get a few pairs of shoes ranging from heels, to sandals, to at least one pair of sneakers.

Burgundy: My favorite places are Dollhouse Junkie Boutique and Love Culture. Currently, my must have pieces are off the shoulder shirts and lipstick!

Corinne: My must-have is always a white suit! My favorite shopping spot is a small boutique on Government Street. They supplied all of my gowns and suits for the entire season. 

 

BSB: What has the SU experience been?

Brittany: Well, my SU experience has indeed been one for the books, but I wouldn’t change my experience for anything! Starting off was a little rough and it took some getting use to, but I can say that from teachers to older students to my classmates, they embraced me and showed me the ropes! Some of my best memories come from my undergrad chapter of life! Even now, as a student at the Southern University Law Center, I honestly can say SU embraces its students like family. Throughout my matriculation at SU I have experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly so I can honestly say that SU played a big part in helping me grow into the woman that I am today.

Burgundy: From the moment, I stepped on Southern University Campus I was pleasantly surprised to be overwhelmed with welcoming arms (especially because I am alumna of Grambling State University). My sorors of the Alpha Tau Chapter immediately extended and have continuously extended an olive branch. The warm embraces did not stop there. The faculty, staff, & students of Southern University never ceased to make me feel right at home. 

Corinne: The SU experience has been humbling. You never know the greatness that surrounds you until you open your eyes to all the Queens and Kings around you.

 

BSB: Has HBCU life inspired your personal style in any way? If so, how?

Brittany: It definitely did! It’s actually pretty funny because as a freshman, I expected that since I was in college, I could just go to class in like Nike shorts and a polo v-neck! But I learned quick that people went to class laid! So once I followed suit and started dressing, if I had early classes I learned how to master the simple but cute outfit with a light face beat. As time went on, my style expanded…Mondays and Pretty Wednesdays were the days that I would go all out because those were days that the most people were on the Yard. But, overall, HBCU life taught me that you never knew who you would see out and about, and even if you didn’t fully dress up, you should always be prepared and presentable with at least a light, natural makeup look, hair needs to be laid, and a cute outfit! Lastly, it made me proud to be me! There are so many different people and personalities on campus, you never had to be like the next person to “fit in”..you were free to embrace who you were and hone in on your individuality! For that, I am grateful.

Burgundy: The HBCU has inspired my personal style in a few ways. I would say that I am a traditional dresser and being around students from different states and countries has peaked my interest to try a few more risky options .

Corinne: HBCU life has shown me that you should do what you feel. Your style should reflect YOU, not someone’s opinion of you. 

 

BSB: In your own words, what does it mean to be a Black Southern Belle?

Brittany: To me, being a Black Southern Belle means being a woman of color from the south who holds herself to a high standard, is successful, and is an esteemed member of society.

Burgundy: To be a black southern belle traditionally encompasses beauty, grace, class, humanity,  & intelligence. A black southern belle is maintaining the same character you exhibit in front of others when you no one is looking.

Corinne: To be a Black Southern Belle, to me, means that a Black Woman has allowed her inner beauty to shine and speak outwardly. She has allowed The God internal, to show externally, and for that she is admired.

AUTHOR INFORMATION

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Meah Johnson

Meah Johnson is a law student & lifestyle blogger. Her work has been featured on Black Southern Belle, in addition to being a contributor to Urban Social TV. You can catch more posts from her on BLACK GIRL TODAY. The site, curated by Johnson, acts as a comprehensive magazine, accommodating the vast interests of creative, millennial women. Meah can be found on all social media platforms @themeahjay. Her website can also be found @blackgirltoday.

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