Are We Working Too Hard Toward Success? The Haters Say “Yes”

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Talk about #BlackExcellence! Recently, New Orleans high school senior, Darrin Francois, was accepted into 83 colleges and offered $3 million in scholarships. Francois attending International High School of New Orleans, where students are encouraged to apply to as many colleges as possible, many seniors were accepted to at least 20 colleges. “I just applied, applied, applied. I didn’t know how many it was, so once they started to come through the mail, I was like oh my gosh, this many? Then, they started coming more and more. Now, today, I have 83 now,” Francois told reporters. It’s definitely an accomplishment to gain acceptance into so many colleges.

Of course, hardworking teens like Francois should receive nothing but appraisal and congratulations for their accomplishments, right? Wrong. In fact, proficient seniors of color specifically those who gain acceptance into many colleges of their choice, often receive criticism for their hard-earned triumphs. For example, local Fox anchors criticized Black teen Michael Brown, who attained a 4.68 GPA, 1540 SAT score, and 34 ACT score, for working too hard and receiving a full ride to 20 colleges, including notorious Ivy League schools like Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. “It’s a little ridiculous that this kid applied to 20 colleges, taking away a spot and basically wait-listing another kid,” a White co-host noted. “I actually think it’s obnoxious, because you can only go to one. You’re taking a spot from someone else who worked really hard.”

Would these television personalities have had a problem if the student in question was White? This argument is simply an attack to people of color. Statistically, Black and Latinx students are more underrepresented at top colleges today than they were 35 years ago, according to a 2017 NY Times analysis. Are we not worthy enough to be represented at a school of prestige?

Though we may be discriminated against no matter our tactic towards success, Black youth continue to work hard. Even though situations can bring you down, youth of color should always remember that you can never work too hard. Perhaps the competition should work harder.


By Sullivan Anderson, Sophomore, Jones College Prep

Snapchat: justcallmesully / Twitter: amoursullivan

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