Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Morehouse Co-Valedictorian Myth

Black folks are grasping for some serious straws in the on-going drama about Morehouse College having it's first white valedictorian. Now, several bloggers are claiming that Joshua Packwood has multiple co-valedictorians. After spending a short while searching on the Internet, I could not confirm this fact.

The one name that kept popping up as a candidate for co-valedictorian is Josh L. Harris. It is true that Morehouse Man Josh L. Harris does have a 4.0 g.p.a. and is an extremely successful tennis player at the college, but he is only a junior. Therefore, he could not be valedictorian because he has not graduated yet! Reading about Mr. Harris, he has all the making of a successful future valedictorian at Morehouse!

Now, it's not unusual to have co-valedictorians, lots of folks at high schools and colleges have matching academic credentials and extra-curricular activities. My personal understanding is that the tie-breaker in these situations is the speech that the individuals intend to give at the graduation. I have no idea if this is the situation at Morehouse.

This past Sunday, Mr. Joshua Packwood gave the valedictorian address at Morehouse College, by himself! No media agency mentioned a co-valedictorian. So, live with it black folks! Oh yeah, John Packwood, Joshua's little brother will be a freshman at Morehouse in the fall. Now he can be outshine brothas and date sistas too!!!!


Naima May 20, 2008 at 1:28 PM  

Is Morehouse giving these guys free rides?
But isn't this what black folks wanted integration? He made the most of his experience there, if he went to Morehouse and didn't engage in activities and date black girls people would probably accuse him of being racist and going there b/c he couldn't afford any other school.
He earned the 4.0 he deserves it. Academics achievements can't be taken away from someone. But obviously not that many black men there care b/c they are the ones who elected him to leadership positions. And how about that white girl that got elected President of the NAACP at Georgetown? No one is asking the black youth why they are electing these so called down white people as the head of their organizations.
I heard there are white people in the fraternities and the sororities at some schools also.

Anonymous,  May 20, 2008 at 4:08 PM  

The President and CEO of the organization that I work is a Morehouse Man, and was the commencement speaker at the graduation. I really wanted to get his thoughts on Genarlow Wilson and this cat before he left...
There are many white people in BGLOs. For some, they are really about the work of that particular organiztion, were in the organization's high school clubs, or it was one of the few options available on that campus.

I think in the situation of the Morehouse Man and the girl at Georgetown (hadn't heard of that)and the white folks that join black organization ss that it was something that they felt passionate about; I could be wrong here, but hey!

Professor Tracey May 20, 2008 at 4:52 PM  

namia and sassy j -

You're getting me wrong here. This is not about Mr. Packwood, it's about the black folks. Black folks are always whining in predominantly white situations about how they can't succeed, but when it's predominantly black, who's succeeding, but the white person. That does not make sense!

My finger is pointing directly at the black men at Morehouse. How did this cat beat them out when the numbers were on their side? You can't have your cake and eat it too. Excuses for not shining at Harvard, now it's excuses for not shining at Morehouse. When do the excuses run out?

Anonymous,  May 20, 2008 at 5:03 PM  

How did this cat beat them out when the numbers were on their side? You can't have your cake and eat it too.<---That is true, Professor Tracy. I so believe that it is OUR fault for getting lazy and thinking that we don't have to work as hard as white folks, IN a black institution. When those young men heard that Packwood was going to be valedictorian, they should have been doing every extra credit set, schmoozin' their least favorite teacher, 2 thesis instead of 1, and whatever it is that was going to get them to be THE valedictorian, or FIGHT for their name to be co-valedictorian.

Miss Issues May 20, 2008 at 5:07 PM  

I agree with you Professor Tracey. There's no way in heck those Spelman women would've let some white girl outshine them on their on turf. Especially in an environment where it is specifically design to nurture black students. Long ago, being a Morehouse Man supposedly meant your were heads and tails above 'regular' black men. So, what does it say when a white man beats black men on their own turf.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T May 20, 2008 at 9:33 PM  

@naima - u lost.

he wil represent us well, and if he pay dues and sinf dear old morehoue he cool w me

dr. torrance stephens class of 85 morehouse college

PioneerValleyWoman May 21, 2008 at 7:13 PM  

I wonder whether the other students might have even known early enough to "protect the turf..."

Drawing upon what I have seen among my students, the students who do very well tend to be pretty low key and quiet. They come to college ready to implement the game plan, racking up the experiences and grades they need to get them to the next step: a job or graduate school. They sign up for the independent study and honors classes which ensure the faculty know them when it comes time for writing recommendation letters.

Remembering my own experiences, for example, in high school and college, the better students participate in class or not, and when they rack up the grades, they don't necessarily tell the world how they are doing. It is only around the junior and senior years, for example, that anyone has any clue of who the best students really are.

This is what happens in my department. Every year we have a celebration in honor of the graduating seniors; we also honor the rising seniors (the juniors about the start their senior year). That is when we check to see who has the best gpa's and honor them at the celebration.

So at the time everyone knew Mr. Packwood was becoming the valedictorian, it might have been too late. He had the game plan in effect for the years prior to the time he showed up on the radar.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com May 25, 2008 at 2:40 AM  

Hi there!

I found out that a black graduate was not mentioned in the press as much as the white grad but his name is Quinn Rallins.


The Chicago Tribune did a story on him but ERRONEOUSLY reported that his mother was on crack while she was pregnant. How in the world can you GET that wrong? I read this on a blog called Black On Campus.

None of the media has the white guy's background distorted....


Thanks for letting me blow my trumpet!

J.S.Rallins October 24, 2008 at 11:36 AM  

There is no truth to what was said about Quinn's mother being on crack....and also a lot of other things that were mentioned in the article...I know because she is my mother also!

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