Black Girl Valedictorian Denied Her Rights, Cleveland, Mississippi!

When I graduated from Magnolia High School in Moss Point, Mississippi back in the day, I faced much racism during my first semester at Gautier College in Gautier,Mississippi. Being a minority in my class, one teacher refused to give me my due grade that I had earned. I migrated to New York, shortly thereafter. This was back in the sixties and now here in year 2000 some students are yet being subjected to much racism due to the color of skin and not academia.

Recently, Cleveland High School in Mississippi is refused Jasmine Shepard, the first Black valedictorian in 110 years at this school her due honor but is subjecting her to demeaning behavior befitting a second class citizen. Please note this school has yet to comply with federal desegregation orders as a result from the renowned case Brown v. Board of Ed over 60 years ago. Ms. Shepard was not only denied her due right but was subject to sharing her honor with another white student who did not qualify for it. Also, to add insult to injury Ms. Shepard was instructed to walk behind a white student at graduation and give her speech second.

This is so wrong for this school to do this and something needs to be done. Why have we not heard this on mainstream news channels. Hello people around the world, have we changed or not.

Glad to hear the family has filed a suit. Now that they have, they are getting racist threatening calls and hateful messages. The messages are so insulting that they cannot even be mentioned or repeated. That is pretty insulting and bad!

This matter is indicative of the atmosphere in current society and something must be done. This bubble is going to bust and people are no longer rolling over and looking the other way. This is the time, when many think and eye for an eye or by any means necessary, justice will be gotten. All these haters need to get over their insecurity because at the end of the day we all have to die.

This story is indicative of the fact that across the Country, Black Girls and women have to work twice as hard and often still are subjected to much demeaning behavior and not given their due. When they voice their opinion of the situation then they are called radical or get hateful responses from others. Ms. Shepard has earned this credit as valedictorian and should be given her due.

The suit demands that the principal, Steven Craddock, and supervisor, Jacquelyn Thigpen bestow upon Ms. Shepard her sole due as valedictorian.

In a society that regularly invalidates the experiences and achievements of Black girls like Jasmine, it’s important that we fight to give Black women the recognition they deserve. This is indicative of a trend dating back pre an pro civil rights, robbing black girls and boys of equal education and incriminating them to even fight the system with threats of death and death.

Also note, while black girls make up a small percentage in schools, 16% while 33% are arrested and are expelled at 53% higher than white girls. Also, Black girls are suspended six time more than white girls.

More recent incidents pertaining to Black girls, Kiera Wilmot, the 16-year-old Florida girl expelled for a harmless science experiment; Dajerria Becton, the 15-year-old girl tossed and pinned to the ground by a McKinney, Texas, police officer during a pool-party squabble; and Shakara, the 16-year-old girl dragged out of her seat and thrown across a South Carolina classroom over a cell phone.

These Black girls daily navigate through stereotypes, discrimination, and much demeaning behavior due to the color of their skin. Success shouldn’t have a color of skin attached but merits should be bestowed upon the due party!!

Let’s help to fight to change this attitude that is permeating throughout our society on a larger scale throughout this Country.