Is Hillman Really Howard or Hampton? Whitley Settles the Score

by James Hill

October 14, 2016

Sugar or salt? Sweet potato or pumpkin? Prince or MJ?

These burning questions have riled the Black community for decades, but none more so controversial than this: Is “A Different World’s” Hillman University based on Howard University or Hampton University?

Since none of us went there (only in our dreams), we had to go to a real Hillman alumni, Jasmine Guy herself to answer the question.

In your opinion, was Hillman based on Hampton or Howard University?

Jasmine Guy: I think it was a mash-up of Hampton, Howard, Spelman and Morehouse. We filmed exteriors at Morehouse and Spelman, Debbie Allen attended Howard and I think Hampton was represented in the show as well.

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What’s your fondest Hillman memory?

Jasmine Guy: Thinking back, I really loved the step competition, because that was the first episode in which I got to know Charlene and Cree. Plus, it really reflected the competitions that were so much a part of the fun of HBCUs at the time.

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If “A Different World” were still on the air, what topics would it be handling now?

Jasmine Guy: I think they would absolutely be focused on the upcoming election, and would be extremely involved politically. Of course, for the students of Hillman when Whitley attended, they would still be burdened with those huge student loans.

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What is Whitley up to in 2016?

Jasmine Guy: Whitley would still be very much in love with Dwayne Wayne and dealing with the fact that their child is taking flight, and she’s probably trying to figure out who she is now that her baby is leaving, as well.

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TELL US: Are you team #hampton or #howard when it comes to Hillman’s true roots?