A Black Graduation Moment


On May 18th, 2019, I attended my cousin’s African American graduation ceremony at the University of La Verne. Putting aside the fact that the event went on for far too long (each graduate gave their own “Thank You,” forgetting, it seemed, that others needed a turn), I have to say that it was still enjoyable and inspirational to watch.  It made me think about my own college aspirations, and what I expect my high school to do to prepare me for the colleges that I want to ultimately apply for and attend.  It was awesome seeing all of those African American graduates celebrating their academic achievements.

Although the graduation occurred several months ago, congratulations are still in order; and also, the colors of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated ®, the fraternity shown in the picture, as well as the Instagram video we posted, are Fall colors, so this post still seems timely.

We at Amandla! sincerely hope that this story, and others, inspires all African-American students at Rancho Cucamonga High School and beyond to pursue four-year college educations.  The reality is that we as a people simply cannot “fail up” as others in society are able to do.  If there are people in your life that bad mouth four-year colleges, or try to dissuade you from going to one, please think about what their true motivations are.  A teacher once told me that our society arranges people into the top rung and bottom rung.  “Someone has to be the person flipping burgers, fixing toilets and doing the jobs most people don’t want to do,” the teacher told the class.  “Really, the world runs on C students.” This was horrifying to me.

If the adults in your life — including your teachers, your counselors and your own parents — are pushing other things rather than four-year colleges for you after you graduate from high school, especially if you are in the 9th and 10th grades, listen very carefully.  They are telling you what they truly think your place in society should be.   You do not need to be in a fraternity.   Just.Go.To.College.