Where’s the Love For Our Ivy League Bound Young Black Students?

I’m always pleased to hear of news about black youth who not only beat the odds, but have gone beyond the limit. But sadly, it seems a lot of people could care less. There seems to be other things to talk about, or they don’t deserve the praise they’ve been getting.

In the past few days alone, we have a total of four teens that are in the spotlight. We have Avery Coffey and Kwesi Enin who were both accepted to Ivy League Universities. Coffey had five universities, Brown, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania vying for his admission!  Enin has had eight universities, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale, checking him out! How’s that for excellence?

But there’s more, and not it’s not just a male-only thing. Alex Dunlap, a 16 year-old Broad Ripple High School student, has gotten the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation! And Tchakamau Mahakoe, a Jamaican teen, has received nine scholarships and was accepted into eleven univeristies!

Kwasi Enin has been accepted at all eight Ivy League schools
Kwasi Enin has been accepted at all eight Ivy League schools

Those young people deserve standing ovations for their major accomplishments at such young ages. They deserve mad love and respect. So, unless I’m missing something , where is that love and respect?

The news media has marveled at the accomplishments of these young people who have done what many in America believe in when it comes to success, worked hard. Yet, there are haters out there – yes, I call them ‘haters’ – who have issues behind their success. Remember, these are all black youth. So, some people felt the need to question their achievements as if they’ve stolen something. To a lot of haters out there, they have.

Of course, you have the anti-affirmative action crowd that believed that race had a tremendous part in their acceptance. The possibility that these youth actually worked hard and used their smarts is never the case. Yet, these people will go on to assume that most black youth don’t give a damn about education or hard work. Any person with good sense knows that you can’t have it both ways. So, what’s the problem? If you’re black, you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.

You have people, mostly white, screaming about how they never got into an ivy league school, but will look down on black youth who do. They will say how their grades were higher than high and how they scored in the thousands on the SATs. So, something is obviously wrong when black people are accepted into top colleges over whites, right? So, that must mean they’ve, indeed, stolen something, and that is the chance for a white person to get in a top university, according to the reverse racist authority.

As stated earlier, there are those who detest hearing about these young geniuses. Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post lamented her frustrations about those who talk about them:

Congratulations to Kwasi Enin. Now can we stop talking about him?


We might as well also congratulate Avery Coffey, 17, a senior at D.C.’s Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, who was admitted to all five of the Ivy League schools – Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brown — to which he applied, according to MyFoxDC.com. Well done. But that’s enough.

Someone’s been guzzling on the haterade. I bet if those teens committed were white, Strauss would be hooked. Since these are black teens, and they haven’t done anything wrong, people need to shut up already.

We have four young, gifted black teens who have gone above and beyond in furthering their education. I think they deserve all the praise they’ve gotten and more. What Strauss and many others who are whining about the news don’t understand is that black youth have a collectively foul image in this nation, and the news and many people in general never get tired of that. But that reputation is built on racist notions that young black people are impulsively and naturally bad. Hearing about black youth accomplishments are like breaths of fresh air after all the craptastic stench we get from excessive crime reporting.

Not all or even most black youth are causing trouble and starting shit. If you learn from watching the news, you would think otherwise. The majority of our young people of color are doing the damn thing. There are some who overachievers. It’s time we give the young people a round of applause, and not look at them with suspicion and caution all the time.