Level the Odds for Black and Latino Students

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I am growing increasingly bothered and bored by the stories of Black or Latino students who excel in schools around high crime, poverty stricken areas, that describe them as having “beat the odds.” It has become this sensationalized story that is not even unique anymore.Beating the odds should not have to be the case. Society should have the same expectations of Black and Latino students as they do White students. They should have the same level of education, meaning a quality education. Unfortunately, they don’t because many minorities, mainly Black and Latino, don’t grow up in the most nurturing environments that allow them to focus on being a student. And the schools that some of them attend are not equipping them with an education that some would even consider being passable.

I am bored with these stories because these are the only stories that media, educators, and communities want too often to celebrate in Black and Brown communities while glossing over other amazing things that are happening with the youth in these areas. They continue to celebrate these “anomalies” as if there aren’t many children in these neighborhoods who go on to succeed in life.
If we level the playing field with community and educational resources, these children can be celebrated for all the other great things they are doing within their communities. There should be no “beating the odds” stories. We should celebrate all youth of every color for the same things like playing baseball, winning chess tournaments, enjoying carnivals, etc. We should be celebrating when a white student gets a full ride scholarship the same way we celebrate minority students. But until we level the odds, minorities will always be beating them instead of just being seen as good students who did things the right way.

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Daniel Jean

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