African-American male excellence is not going extinct.
Not if Jamil Smith has anything to say about it. Smith, a Minority Achievement Committee alumni scholar, told this year’s MAC Awards audience that black academic excellence is not fading even though societal norms may suggest otherwise.
“We are stuck with limited characterization of black men and black boys. We are told that black excellence is rare because we are reminded so often about statistics about how bad were doing,” said Smith.
Smith expressed his amazement with the group. “The minority achievement committee is one of the best arguments against the notion that black men and boys are lost. Seeing this group expand out of the high school to nurture black academic and personal achievement in our youngest . . . I’m more encouraged than ever.”
The Minority Achievement Committee awards program for minority male scholars of Shaker Heights High School took place in the large auditorium May 21.
The MAC scholars program involves high-achieving minority male juniors and seniors who act as mentors to younger Potential Scholars, ninth grade minority males. The MAC scholars serve as models to younger minority students to strive for academic excellence and success.
The MAC scholars promote and strive for respect, pride, honesty, sensitivity and confidence within the group.
The annual awards program recognizes those who have taken the challenge to achieve and maintain good grades and commends those who have raised their GPAs.
Bronze medal winners were recognized for raising their GPAs by .3-5 percent. They are Ryan Amusat, David Asante, Joshua Guzman, Ja’el Johnson, Marvin Parra, Michael Prowell, Jeremiah Sowell and Romell Tate.
Silver medal winners raised their averages by .5 percent. They are Nicholas Glass-Crawford, Dajaun Herring, KaVaughn Irons, Jalan Morgan, Cameran Thomas, Tyshawn Walker and Emmanuel Williams III.
The gold medal winner is the individual who raised his GPA most significantly. This year, freshman Quinton Daniels won the gold medal. He raised his average from a 2.1 to a 3.2.
Daniels said he is very proud of himself. “I worked hard and I feel very accomplished,” he said.
Smith ended his speech with encouragement to ignore people who doubt minority students’ potential for success. “You are part of a long legacy of black excellence, one that continues to grow in this room and well beyond. Own that and be a proud part of it. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.