I have reprinted sections of the AP piece below, rather than linked it, for effect. As you read, think about this: my father's alma mater, Howard University Medical School, will likely approach majority Caucasian, with a significant number of folk from India, Pakistan, European Union, even South America, the Phillipines...if it hasn't already. The law school's packed with tradition but often little else. On the undergrad tip most HBCUs already sporting 5 to 1 black female to black male ratios, are also hurting for cash. Even the biggies like Howard call on Uncle Sam for their endowment, has trouble retaining a lot of male students for the four years; many of the smaller schools don't have any endowment to speak of and some have ratios approaching 8 to 1. There may come a time when a chunk of their student body will come from Ukraine or some place like that.
Here's the point: Too, too many of our teens and young black men are catching hell despite the mountains they climb and flags they plant. Whether they are poor or the sons of professionals, their trials are unique and their accomplishments grand must be chronicled!
Here's the rub: Unfortunately they each carry a ton of deadweight around their necks--the legions of their "brothers"...all too busy being angry or lazy or plain silly. Too busy wanting to be Lebron or Jay-Z ...or R. Kelly. Or lionizes that shithead Reggie Bush sleeping with that whore Kim Khardashian (yes I said "doody" and I said "whore." I'm no prude. fanboys and girls, but let's be real about who people really are and what they dothings). Too busy playing on XBox. Too busy cracking only books that cost less than $10 and have the word "Trippin'" or "Chocolate Ooze" in the titles. Too busy cleaning those $150 Nikes or Tims and waxing those rims but got no money to save for a notebook computer and classes...and hey, gotta spot clean those Nikes and detail your whip in front of your mama's or girlfriend's driveway...whilst you dump a quart of used motor oil down the gutter ...ditch your Popeye's box and bones, and your bottle of Fanta cherry on the sidewalk. All that is more important than sacrifice and achievement. The kicker: you have brothers who are jumping up for Barack, yet aren't registered to vote and can't even show up to polls on time and understand the touchscreen if they are. These folk will the first to jump off when McCain's elected, or the cops beat some junior thieves. "Woe, woe is us," this type of fool whines, growls or shouts. Black women, you gotta endure us 'cause it's tough out there and we can't do no better than what we're doing... Yeah, it's a struggle just get out and fight. But why oh why do we choose--yes, choose--to make it even worse on ourselves with this clowning?
Now, read on. It's inspiring and makes me proud of the student, all of his suportive classmates, and Morehouse's commitment to learning. But yeah, part of me's pissed off. Deeply.
Valedictorian A Different Kind Of ``Morehouse Man''
By Associated PressMay 12, 2008, 22:21
From his first day at Morehouse College, the country's only institution of higher learning dedicated to the education of Black men, Joshua Packwood has been a standout.
His popularity got him elected dorm president as a freshman. His looks and physique made him a fashion-show favorite. His intellect made him a Rhodes Scholar finalist. His work ethic landed him a job at the prestigious investment banking firm Goldman Sachs in New York City.
But it's his skin that has made all of this an anomaly. This month, Packwood is set to take the stage and address his classmates as the first White valedictorian in Morehouse's 141-year history.
The 22-year-old from Kansas City, Mo., will graduate on May 18 with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a degree in economics.
He could have gone elsewhere, to a school like Columbia, Stanford or Yale, but his four-year journey through Morehouse has taught him a few things that they could not, and he makes it clear that he has no regrets.
``I've been forced to see the world in a different perspective, that I don't think I could've gotten anywhere else,'' he said. ``None of the Ivies, no matter how large their enrollment is, no matter how many Nobel laureates they have on their faculty ... none of them could've provided me with the perspective I have now.''
When Packwood applied to Morehouse, he had frequent conversations with George Gray, an alumnus who was a recruiter at the school. Gray was impressed by Packwood's credentials and spent months trying to talk the sought-after senior into choosing Morehouse over other elite schools.
``He had outstanding numbers,'' said Gray, now director of admissions at historically Black Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. ``He was the kind of kid we were looking for to be a presidential scholar.''
After several conversations, Packwood began to suspect that Gray had no idea that he was White. His suspicions were confirmed when one of Gray's calls caught Packwood in the middle of track practice.
``Don't let the White kids walk you down,'' Gray quipped.
``Wait,'' Packwood responded. ``You know I'm White, right?''
Silence. Uneasy laughter. Confirmation.
``The challenge was to get the best student that we could, and Josh definitely fit that,'' Gray said.
And for Packwood, knowing that he had been picked on his merits, and not as a token White recruit, made the difference.
``That said I could come here and, ironically, be accepted for who I am,'' With each semester, Packwood's grades remained high, his confidence grew and his resume became more impressive. Summers were spent on Wall Street at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, he studied abroad in London and Costa Rica, and his studies have taken him to China and Switzerland.
He also drew attention with his looks -- some Atlanta University Center coeds took to calling him ``Tom Cruise.'' His photo album on Facebook shows a smiling Packwood posing with dozens of young, Black women who fill his page with notes.
``He kind of sticks out, but he's still relatable and he works with all of us,'' Douglas said.