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  • The Black Bruins [Spoken Word] – Sy Stokes

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    SIGN THIS PETITION BELOW TO MAKE A CHANGE!!!

    https://www.change.org/petitions/ucla-has-less-than-50-black-males-in-the-entire-freshmen-class-this-needs-to-change

    (Yes, i am aware that palettes is spelled wrong. I already uploaded the video when I saw the typo lol thx for paying so much attention!)

    https://www.facebook.com/SyStokesSpeaks

    Being the cousin of Arthur Ashe, I feel as though 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 aware of what is happening at this university.

    I am a proud Black, Cherokee, and Chinese student at UCLA. Thank you for watching.

    _________________________________________________________

    Word On Wednesdays at UCLA http://www.youtube.com/user/TheWordonWednesdays
    IG: SYzzle

    Filmed by Justin Janes & Steven Ng
    Written and Performed by Sy Stokes
    Music Composed by David Teel
    Editing and Post-Production by Justin Janes

    The Black Bruins:
    Alex Mercier
    Mike Wamungu
    Davontae Foxx Drew
    Donte Miller
    Aaron Willis
    Amir Ali
    Mike Bailey Jr.
    Will Edem
    Oz Azubuike
    CJ Okoye
    EzMoney Harper

    Lyrics:

    The Black Bruins

    In fall 2012, the total enrollment, graduate and undergraduate, for African American males at UCLA was 660 students. That’s 3.3% of the 19, 838 other males enrolled here. Out of that 660 African American male students, 65% are undergraduate athletes. The number of entering male freshman students was 2,418; only 48 of them are African American. The graduation rates for African American males at UCLA is 74%… Which means out of that 48 freshmen last year… Only 35 are predicted to graduate.

    When we were children, we learned how to mix colors with a paint brush
    We learned that white mixed with anything makes it brighter
    But we wouldn’t dare mix anything with brown or black or else our entire creation would be ruined
    What we failed to realize… was that the untouched dark section of the paint brush pallet became the symbol of the melanin in our skin
    The painter only used us to write words that were dark enough to be noticed on a white background
    So if words are all we are good for then don’t you dare tell us to silence our voices when we choose to speak

    Now you tell me that I should be proud to be at UCLA?
    When only 35 of us are predicted to walk across that stage?
    When most of us are dropping out from the lack of financial aid
    While Judy Olian, Dean of Anderson School of Management just spent $647,000 on first class flights and hotel stays
    But waiting for an apology is asking for the impossible
    Because no snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible
    But you tell me I should be proud to be a Bruin

    When we have more national championships than we do black male freshmen
    It’s evident that our only purpose here is to improve your winning percentage
    So now black high school kids can care less about grades, just as long as the number on the back of their jersey doesn’t fade
    And you tell me I should be proud to be a Bruin

    But according to Professor Sander, 3.3% is far too many black kids
    On his perfectly paved roads there are far too many black skids

    This school is not diverse just because you put it on a pamphlet
    But you’ll name a building after Albert Carnesale who publicly opposes affirmative action
    The action that can make our fraction on your demographic pie chart look more than just a second hand on a clock
    It’s all…. talk
    Just to maintain this fraudulent reputation
    Of this institutionalized racist corporation

    They don’t care about the cultural limitations of being a minority in society
    So we have become our own painters… with our own pallets…
    And we have voices that speak defiantly

    So we IGNITE the flames to help us find the path to our future
    Increasing Graduations, Not Incarcerations, Transforming Education because our numbers can’t be any fewer
    So don’t be surprised that we have become rebellious for what has happened to us
    When every black student in class feels like Rosa Parks on the bus
    We are tryin to rewind time with role reversal as our revenge
    Because we have no other choice when the university refuses to come to our defense

    But we have come too far to let history repeat itself
    Even when they are peeling off the dark fur of the Bruin pelt
    Because our faces are just used to cover up from the public what’s really inside
    Revitalizing lies to perpetuate your disguise

    Stop pretending that the wounds of our past have healed
    We’re not asking for a handout, we’re asking for a level playing field
    Those with less opportunity are fighting for their position trying to find their place
    But those with privilege are hitting triples when they were already born on third base

    So with all of my brothers’ hopes and dreams that this university has tried to ruin
    How the hell am I supposed to be proud… to call myself… a Bruin

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