We’ve all heard about Kwasi Enin, the hardworking prodigy who was accepted into all 8 Ivy League universities. But did you hear about Avery Coffey who was accepted into 5 (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, and University of Pennsylvania)? Or maybe you’ve heard about Akintunde Ahmad the Black student who carries around his report card and SAT scores to prove he has a 5.0 GPA and got a 2100 on his SAT after all too often being dismissed as a “thug” because of how he looks. Akintunde isn’t Harvard-bound but was accepted to Yale, Brown and Columbia.
He said, “People looking at me funny is so common that it doesn’t stick out for me anymore. It’s something that I’ve gotten used to. I’ll leave this school and there will be teachers who never knew I was one of the people on the honor roll.”
The point is Black students are rejecting the limitations imposed on them because of race, class or media representations. Harvard may be more inclusive but that doesn’t mean non-Black students are ready to embrace that. “I Too Am Harvard,” is a photo project in which Black students describe the stereotypes they’ve been confronted with while at the university.
Diversity in college is still a massive issue when it comes to both race, gender and sexual orientation but even a little progress feels like a massive victory when we look at the recent history behind us. In a world where stories like Trayvon Martin’s aren’t few or far between it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of being Black in America but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many people pushing history forward.
12% of Harvard’s accepted students are Black this year. That doesn’t sound like much and really, it isn’t but the reality is that most upper tier universities only accept 5-10% Black students each year. This means about 170 Black students will be doing great things at Harvard next fall. Congrats to any and all future HBICs and innovators.
[Via. Huffington Post College]