Morehouse’s first White Valedictorian


I have been following this story on the blogs and I just finished reading an article on CNN about it. The gentleman Joshua Packwood had this to say about some of his peers “They approached me and said, ‘Yeah, I have a problem with you being valedictorian. I know you’ve earned it and even though I know you on a personal level – I like you a lot – but it disturbs me that out of roughly 3,000 black men – there’s not one that’s done as well as or better than you academically,’ ” says Packwood.

I think that’s the wrong way to look at this situation. The young man comes from an impoverished family and if there is one thing I know America hates just as much as Black people, it’s poor whites. I remember being a kid and watching Roots, there’s a scene in there, it escapes me now. But it alluded to poor whites and black folks banding together in the south.

I’m indifferent about this gentleman, I think his success is something to be marveled at no matter what his race is. Typically when there is a comparison about black and white children and their academic success we look to the failed school systems in urban areas that produce young black children and the well equipped schools of the suburbs that produce young white children. There is a learning gap, not because black children are not smarter but because there is a lack of quality teachers and access to resources in said public schools.

Packwood’s story is interesting though because he grew up poor, lacking privilege and it was actually a black middle class family who helped him get to where he is today. I don’t like the idea of brothers diminishing their own efforts because a white man is the valedictorian of their school. As someone else said later on in the article, the gentleman of Morehouse need to work harder. Not because white boys are taking their spots but because the work ethic that they create for themselves makes them want to work harder! Congratulations to Joshua Packwood on his accomplishment.


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