Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

13Nov/130

The Black Bruins – Sy Stokes and Black Male UCLA Students (Spoken Word)

Here's a moving video that's been floating around the internet in the last several days.  It's a protest video of sorts, made by Sy Stokes, a cousin of the great Arthur Ashe, and several of his classmates at UCLA.

In this video, they call attention to the small number of African American students at the university - African American males in particular, during these post-affirmative action years.  Among those few African American males who are on the campus, more than half are university athletes.

...When we have more national championships than we do Black male freshmen, it's evident that our only purpose here is to improve your winning percentage.

...So we have become our own painters, with our own pallets, and we have voices that speak defiantly.  So we ignite the flames that help us find our path to our future; increasing graduations, not incarcerations, transforming education because our numbers can't be any fewer.

...So don't be surprised that we have become rebellious for what has happened to us.  When every Black student in class feels like Rosa Parks on the bus.

...Stop pretending that the wounds of our past have healed.  We are not asking for a handout.  We are asking for a level playing field.  Those with less opportunity are fighting for their position, trying to find their place; but those with privilege are hitting triples when they were already born on third base.  So with all of my brother's hopes and dreams, that this university has tried to ruin, how the hell am I supposed to be proud, to call myself a Bruin...?

We should all applaud and celebrate these students' determination, their courage, and their willingness to speak truth to power.

We must all step up our efforts to keep the doors of educational opportunity open to our youth.

 

 

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