Sunday, April 27, 2014

Teens Talk Back: #itooamharvard

Teens Talk Back: Reflection

“Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned. This project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard.”

Earlier in the year a group of Harvard University students came together and created, #itooamHarvard. #itooamharvard is a photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Black students make up 11% of Harvard Freshman class. 

I was fortunate enough to attend a college prep high school that was also a boarding school.  High school was great because I've meet life long friends.  Our student body was very diverse with our international students but there was still a possibility of being the only black student in some classes. I can remember one night at dinner when these white boys told my sister, I and a couple of black friends how chefs made dinner for us that night because it was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese....… At that moment I was in shock. We were all in shock. What was made to be a “joke” was a very stereotypical joke and I did not think it was a very one.  I am African American so I did not grow up eating soul food. My skin is black but I am African.

These Harvard students were fed up with the remarks and comments that were said to them on campus because they were black or different. Some of them had been hearing these comments since they were freshman and some of them are freshman. Being fed up with everything they took it upon themselves to shed light on this issue. 

Here is the video below.....

The video is amazing and their Tumbler page is even more amazing. These teens choose a great way to speak up and talk back! Because The media was the best they to talk back. Media Matters  and because of this they gained NATIONAL attention! They were reposted my BuzzFeed, USA today, NY times and they were recognized by many celebrities including Janelle Monáe. This started on campus spread worldwide, It made me think of the teens in #itooamharvard feeling like they were some kind of alien life form.  Some did  admit to feeling like they did not belong on campus so there is a connection there. These students were prejudged because they were black.  I do not know how it feels to be a black teen on a college campus like Harvard but these students gave me a look into what they have experienced and I feel for them. The #itooamharvard  play premiered on Harvard's campus this past March. 

#itooamHarvard is Amazing and was a great way these students choose to talk back

Questions for class:

Did you ever feel like you were judged as a teen because of your skin color?
Can you connect being an alien life form to something else other than being a teen?
What do you think of #itooamharvard? do you think these Harvard teens choose the right way to talk back?


  1. This is really cool! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Great post ! really interesting stuff !

  3. I really loved your pictures along with the hashtags, I think you did a great job displaying teens talking back and the empowerment of talking back. I thought it was so cool to see a university come together and stand up for what they believe it, awesome post.

  4. I think this is great and very inspiring that these young college students stood up for themselves. it must also feel good that it is kind of local being at Harvard

  5. Great post. This should be shown in inner-city schools to high school students to show that minorities can have a strong voice and take an active role in speaking up.