My Old House: 15 Evanston Ave.
Tierra “Tee” Freeman '24 sits in her living room at 15 Evanston Ave. working on a client’s hair, watching a scary movie on the projector. It’s the day before Halloween.
As Freeman finishes up her client's new look, the two women hear the back door knob shake, then the door slowly creaks open. Two mysterious figures burst into the house with what looks like something sharp on their heads. Freeman screams and flips the lights on only to find her roommates Afra Yeboah ’24 and Cici Williams ’24 coming home from Burger King wearing BK paper crowns.
This year, the three roommates reside in the yellow two-story, three-bedroom house at 15 Evanston Ave. — also known as the BATU (Black Action Through Unity) House. Along with being involved in various clubs, organizations and athletic teams on campus, the three women find many ways to keep busy and work to contribute to the BATU legacy.
Freeman found a passion for providing hair styling services on campus during her freshman year. She was able to start her business, called InfiniTEEstyles. When she started, she found joy in making other people look good and feel confident.
Freeman loves how she is able to expand the BATU community.
“Being able to do hair in the living room opens up the space to other people … usually when I start doing a client’s hair, it’s just us, but by the time I finish there’s a room full of people watching movies and chatting about anything,” Freeman said.
“By the time I finish, there’s a room full of people watching movies and chatting about anything.”
In 1998, the BATU house was created as a residence and cultural center for African American students. While the house is used to house Black students, it is also the center for Black student affairs and utilized for numerous learning, listening and social opportunities.
“I feel like in living in the house, I contribute to UD’s Black community by giving its Black students another safe place to feed into and grow alongside,” Freeman said.
The events hosted at the house include cookouts, learning opportunities for Black students and film screenings in the living room. With the young women being so involved on campus, it is difficult for them to make time to spend time with each other on a daily basis, but they always make sure to allow time to check in with one another at the end of each day, Freeman said. She said the BATU house has given them a sense of unity with each other and the community.
“I have been able to host movie nights with my roommates [and] cook meals for my friends and family,” she said.
Freeman agreed, saying they carry with them a sense of pride in being a part of something they know is giving back to their community, and as a part of that, they have great appreciation for the alumni that came before them.
“Equality and equity throughout campus.”
“I’d like to say thank you to those before us for paving the way for myself and my roommates, as well as for those who will come after us,” Freeman said. “And for encouraging Black success … equality and equity throughout campus.”