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Black UCLA Student Addresses The Lack Of Diversity At His Institution In Spoken Word Piece That Goes Viral

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UCLA student Sy Stokes

By: Britt L

In the wake of the affirmative action debates in California and other states, a group of minority males who attend the University of California, Los Angeles created a spoken word piece, addressing the lack of diversity at their elite institution. In the video, UCLA student Sy Stokes speaks candidly and features sobering statistics about the dent in diversity at the four-year university.

Stokes,  a Junior who identifies as black, Chinese and Cherokee native American, reveals that the school has won more than 100 NCAA Championships and doesn’t even have half of that number of black students enrolled in their college. Stokes titled the piece “The Black Bruins” in a metaphoric comparison to the schools mascot and its black students.

According to the enrollment statistics issued by the school, African-Americans make up only 3.8 percent of the student population, and only 3.3 percent of the male population is African American.

Unsurprisingly, 65 percent of those black males are student athletes, only making it to the big green campus by a long shot of hooping skills.

Of the Fall 2013 incoming men in the freshman class at UCLA, only 1.9 percent of them were African American.

Stokes exclaimed that he was very close to dropping out of UCLA his freshman year because he felt uncomfortable and isolated by the lack of population that looked similar to him. An afro-american studies student, the 21-year-old third year student found his place in the small minority community.

However, he wanted to raise awareness about the unjust numbers no one is aware of. Stokes’ mission was to inform near future students before November 30, the university’s application deadline.

“We had to do something to put our issues on the map,” said Stokes in an interview with the Daily Bruin.

Despite the desperate plea for black students to enroll into the school by Stokes, vice chancellor of student affairs, Janina Montero says administrators at UCLA are knowledgeable to the fact that the school has a problem with it’s diversity and are looking into working around the state’s admission parameters that may hold them back from enrolling more black students.

In 1996, the state of California voted down affirmative action and passed the law, Proposition 209, which ultimately banned any state institution from taking into consideration gender, race, ethnicity or national origins during their admissions process. Since the provision, black student enrollment rates have drastically decreased.

“We certainly recognize that the low numbers of African Americans and other underrepresented students on campus does lead to a sense of isolation and invisibility,” said Montero in an emailed statement to the Daily Bruin. “It is difficult to eliminate this painful imbalance without considering race in the admissions process.”

Being one of those 35 black males who are expected to walk across the UCLA stage on graduation day, Stokes believes it is his responsibility to bring attention to the issue that many are too sensitive or misguided to discuss.

“Being the cousin of Arthur Ashe, I feel as thought it is my responsibility to uphold the strong voices of the Black Bruin community. This school has experienced unacceptable instances of injustice recently, and many people are not ware of what is happening at this university,” concluded Stokes.

To view the griping piece, click here.

37 Comment

  1. What happened? How did this country get turned around? We are headed in the wrong direction…
    .

  2. To all my minority Athletes you don’t have to go to these racist schools to play Division 1 ball. NC A&T, Howard, Hampton and FAMU are all Division 1 schools and offer you the same if not better sport, educational and career opportunities. I say that because I know for a fact that when Fortune 500 companies look for Black students they recruit at these schools period. Also WSSU made it to the National Championship in Football last year. You will be in a nurturing environment with your people who have similar backgrounds interest and likes. Furthermore the money you generate for the University through athletics will go to put your people through school not some racist white woman who is going to the Supreme Court to sue the school to stop you from gaining admission. That same white woman who won’t give you or someone who looks like you a job later down the line because she has a complex against Blacks. Bottom line is to hell with those schools. They need us for sports to generate Billions and we don’t need them for anything because we have our own. Time to start thinking about group economics and keep the money in our community.

  3. To hell with wanting to load up the campus at UCLA with our black young men and women !!! All you need is a handful there in the first place, and the same at all of the other white colleges. GO TO AND SUPPORT YOUR OWN BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, and load up these campuses and classrooms. We in the past, like plum fools, gave up our restaurants, stores, etc., to run and get with and sit by de master’s sons and daughters. Now you want to desert your black schools, and run over where most of you will be “second class students,” over on white campuses. Do you not realize that no one, nor group. respects folks that do not HAVE ANYTHING OF THEIR OWN !!! — Rev. George Brooks

  4. Amen Tony and Rev Brooks

  5. Question, Is it like this at USC too?

    • NO, USC is Mixture of cultures and patriotism. They represent all the people of color.

  6. A lot of those big school on the west coast have become mostly Asian. That's very sad that the only black students at UCLA are the football or basketball playerss LOL

  7. As a Black man I do not cosign lowering academic standards for the benefit of any particular group, AA' included.

  8. I am so grieved about this state of affairs at UCLA. It reminds me of ny freshman year at the Big Ten School Illinois back in 1967. I found myself one of 100 minorities among 30,000. It is very disturbing to find that 46 years later we are in the same state of affairs. "BAU" it is still business as usual exploitation of our people for what the talented athletes can put into the financial coffers of these schools via large TV network contracts. What a travesty. Thanks for exposing these charlatans. May thebtruth make us all free indeed!!!!

  9. I remember when they reversed the need for Affirmative Action. I also remember how they twisted up the words and made it confusing for the voters.

    Quote from article-"In 1996, the state of California voted down affirmative action and passed the law, Proposition 209, which ultimately banned any state institution from taking into consideration gender, race, ethnicity or national origins during their admissions process. Since the provision, black student enrollment rates have drastically decreased".

  10. The issue of why blacks are not entering into schools such as UCLA goes far beyond the school of UCLA. You want UCLA to fix the problem. They can’t. Black people (specifically young black men) have been manipulated into following a culture that puts them at odds and puts them out of mainstream American culture. You can’t have it all. Choose one culture or the other. And you can’t expect all these black teens to follow an African based historic culture in America (it won’t happen), nor should they be wasting time with a revolutionary mentality type culture (fruitless in the end, the sixties showed that).

    You have people that have been in the US only two generations that make it into prestigious schools because they aren’t preoccupied with a neighborhood street culture. Fact is black Americans don’t read and their reading level has been dropping consistently for the last 40 years. UCLA would let anybody in at this point on merit, but if you can’t fill that requirement then then flow where your water level is and get to work so your children don’t end up getting rejected by a school that you couldn’t accepted to. Only gets harder from here folks.

  11. The issue of why blacks are not entering into schools such as UCLA goes far beyond the school of UCLA. You want UCLA to fix the problem. They can't. Black people (specifically young black men) have been manipulated into following a culture that puts them at odds and puts them out of mainstream American culture. You can't have it all. Choose one culture or the other. And you can't expect all these black teens to follow an African based historic culture in America (it won't happen), nor should they be wasting time with a revolutionary mentality type culture (fruitless in the end, the sixties showed that).

    You have minorities that have been in the US only two generations that make it into prestigious schools because they aren't preoccupied with a neighborhood street culture. Fact is black Americans don't read and their reading level has been dropping consistently for the last 40 years. UCLA would let anybody in at this point on merit, but if you can't fill that requirement then flow where your water level is and get to work so your children won't end up getting rejected by a school that you couldn't accepted to. Only gets harder from here folks.

  12. Stop complaining about these white colleges black enrollment. Blacks go to white colleges mainly because they believe they are getting a better education and its reputation. They get to these schools and then feel isolated. Those that endure the isolation graduate and then tell everyone that they should have graduated fron an HBCU. I have heard this from many that were graduated fron white institutions. Long live HBCUs. I am an alumnus of Grambling.

  13. When we get too comfortable with anything run by "White Supremacy Rules" we get knocked back to the back of the bus. UCLA is but another example of the same old story, but a different decade. It's so hypocritical for Admissions folk to use any standard to bring students to UCLA and not use Race as one of the key barometers. Everything else in the World uses Race to exclude Black Folk and now the University of California State System is doing it again!! This is just a repeat of an old dance step to have us "Entertaining" the Rule makers in a gym, on a field, running on a track, or playing on a diamond. Do You Read Me Loud And Clear?????

  14. I understand the grievances. However, the UC system prides itself in being an institution that admits students purely based on academic performance and holistic review of students' profiles. Any figure under 8 percent does not seem reflective of the performance of black students across the state.

  15. Wow I love this piece….this is the type of articles that r important. I love this young black man for doing this. But this is the school that Dr. dre gave millions to

  16. I am sure Ward Connelley is happy.

  17. Everybody take a look at the video The BlackMan(State of Emergency)on Youtube. It’s about having our own “Agenda”, we got to get back on the right track! Peace!

  18. If you can't make the grades, you won't be accepted into the school. I had a 3.8GPA and I still couldn't get into UCLA. That is how strict they are when it comes to

  19. Exclude blacks? Then why are there so many scholarships given out JUST FOR BEING BLACK?

  20. wow , more Ookin & EEKin from a M 0NKEy.
    STFU you porch M 0Nkey.
    Whine Whine, go get sum stooodent loans and buy sum Jordans ,
    your never gonna pay that $ back anyway, right Nl66ER.

  21. the only way an ape can get into a univ is by Apefirmative action.
    low I.Q.s all gr0ids will be gr0ids. it beez in da culture n sheee.it

    savage apes.. all of em. actin like chimps

  22. If you are so uncomfortable, go somewhere else. And really, what percent of blackness would suffice? 90%? Or is it only diverse enough for black whiners when its 100% black? Sure seems that way.

  23. All of the blacks that I have met that have graduated from UCLA are the best of the best. They excelled in their education goals and they will be successful wherever they go in life. They will be a benefit to the community in which they live.

    Some black grads from other “universities” are illiterate, lacking in communication skills, and do not have the tools to function as a productive member of society. They are on a fast track to failure and have wasted the opportunity to better themselves that was handed to them.

  24. QUOTE Stokes exclaimed that he was very close to dropping out of UCLA his freshman year because he felt uncomfortable and isolated by the lack of population that looked similar to him. An afro-american studies student, the 21-year-old third year student found his place in the small minority community. UNQUOTE

    1) I though this was supposed to be Obama's Post Racial America where we treat race as a forgotten social construct? Hypocrite! Race only applies when it benefits blacks. It is used as a cudgel against white Americans.

    2) I'm still trying to figure out what an afro-american studies student actually "studies?" (Do they study?) Do these people have such a 'rich" history that it requires a college major? If so then we should have Chines Studies, Italian studies, irish studies . . . their history is far more important to America than that of the negro.

    3) Too bad this clown didn't drop out and return to his get-toe hovel when he felt "uncomfortable." As it is, he's now polluting a fine university with his crap . . . and probably raping and burglarizing every chance he gets.

  25. Why didnt you Black people just get good grades and high SAT scores as all successful UCLA applicants did:

  26. Do not use profanity or obscenities. And don’t try to camouflage profanity with asterisks, abbreviations or other symbols or foreign phrases.

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