Today: Morehouse. Tomorrow: The NAACP.

White men can jump…to the valedictorian slot

What does it mean, conceptually, when the class valedictorian, at a school created to educate Black men, is white?

If you’ve never considered this question, your time to answer it is already up: Meet Joshua Packwood, representing Morehouse College this Sunday as the school’s first white val in its 141-year history.

Breathlessly, from MSNBC:

His popularity got him elected dorm president as a freshman. His looks and physique made him a fashion-show favorite. His intellect made him a Rhodes Scholar finalist. His work ethic landed him a job at the prestigious investment banking firm Goldman Sachs in New York City.

But it’s his skin that has made all of this an anomaly.

True, that. But an unusual occurrence of what kind? Blogger Fresh365 forwards a brief but excellent media critique in response

Having attended Morehouse College, I was originally appalled, then confused after seeing the ajcs’ front page. “I was hatin-but couldn’t quite figure out why”. I gave it time, read the article, had alot of dialog and let everything soak in. Honestly, i’m proud of the brother (Mr. Packwood) and I figured out my frustration. It wasn’t the fact that he was white, but that it took a white man to get Morehouse on the top front page of the paper.

I call what ‘they’ do “Intentional Aggravation”, which should be a crime. This IA is used to make us frustrated, when we notice certain little things that make no sense its bothersome, then they act like they don’t know what were talking about, insinuate we’re crazy and expect us to accept it.



#1 Undercover Black Man on 05.14.08 at 3:22 pm

Awww, Harry… cut the dude some slack. He’s probably been called “Joshua Peckerwood” ever since freshman year.

#2 giles on 05.16.08 at 5:35 pm

it’s not even that packwood did anything wrong. it’s the media who causes all my discomfort from the way they talk about him:

the headlines might as well read:

“White Man Overcomes Oppression: Bests Black Men at Their Own School!”

“White Man Stands Firm in the Face of Challenges”

“White Valedictorian at HBCU: Racism Officially Eradicated”

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