Look at Our Future

"If you educate the Negro, you will unfit him for a slave."
                                                                                                Booker T. Washington

What are the keys to equality and success?

Black leaders continue to ask these questions while acknowledging the shadows of institutional racism, bigotry and discrimination at every turn. But, we can’t turn back. Consider the words of one Black leader.

“I guess the best way to say it is that I play the blues but I sing gospel. So I’m always merging the two, and the universe in so many ways still has an arc toward that which is just, and there’s a way that we have to acknowledge our tragedy, but yet still anchor ourselves to hope. So we are rooted in that kind of tradition.”
- Black leader

The Keys

Thankfully there are many keys on our ring and I believe that one key that can unlock our potential to birth success is to focus on the positive, the evidence of what works and demonstrate the power of making dreams come true. This is not difficult. These pages are full of imperical evidence from periods in our history that were far more challenging than today.  Look and see for yourself why we can be hopeful about our future.

Kejiva Mahoney

Kejiva Mahoney

Salutatorian

Tajuan Lawson

Tajuan Lawson

Salutatorian

Makala and Mariah Moyer

Makala and Mariah Moyer

Co-Valedictorians

Devin Parker

Devin Parker

Valedictorian

Christy Gibson

Christy Gibson

Salutatorian

Joshua Willard

Joshua Willard

Valedictorian

Marcos and Malcolm Allen

Marcos and Malcolm Allen

Co-Valedictorians

Erica Jackson

Erica Jackson

Salutatorian

Jacolby Lewis

Jacolby Lewis

Valedictorian

Britany Blackwell

Britany Blackwell

Valedictorian

Charles Johns

Charles Johns

Valedictorian

Bronner twins

Bronner twins

Co-Valedictorians

Reuben Hogan

Reuben Hogan

Valedictorian

Kyler Jett

Kyler Jett

Valedictorian

Geovonni Bell

Geovonni Bell

Valedictorian

Keiara Joseph

Keiara Joseph

Salutatorian

Artel J. Great

Artel J. Great

Valedictorian

Eugenia Washington

Eugenia Washington

Salutatorian

Megan Piphus

Megan Piphus

Valedictorian

In 1977, Loretta Lynch graduated at the top of her class at Durham High School in Durham, NC. The school administration resisted awarding her sole valedictorian honors and granted her co-valedictorian with a white student. We look back at history and find examples of racism telling similar stories.

In 1936, Fannetta Nelson Gordon deserved to be the valedictorian of Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh. Her older sister Sophia Nelson had achieved the honor two years earlier. But the principal of this school where over 90% of the student body was white thought it sent a bad message to have two black valedictorians in a many years. He had a plan. He pressured music teacher to change Gordon's grade from an A to a B so she wouldn't be first in her class. Gordon graduated 4th in the class.
In 2011, 75 years after Gordon graduated the Westinghouse Alumni Association sought to make amends by hosting an event in her honor. Unfortunately, Fannetta Gordon died three years earlier at age 88.

Cameron Clarke, Perfect SAT

Gabrielle Turnquest, 18, Florida teen, youngest to pass UK bar exam.

Brittney Exline, 19,

youngest Black-Am

Engineer

Akintunde Ahmad, 5.0 GPA 2100 SAT

Rhiana Gunn-Wright,

Rhodes Scholarship

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