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Two young, gifted Black men need our help

SAM ANDERSON | 8/16/2012, 5:07 p.m.

Two young Brooklyn activist-students, Akeem Pearce, 18, and Troy Ennis, 20, are in dire need of our help.

No. They are not victims of Brooklyn's typical police terror of stop-and-frisk.

No. They have not been shot by one of the daily, random NRA-sponsored acts of gun violence.

No. They are not one of the tens of thousands of Black teen prisoners of New York City.

They are intelligent, bold and courageous Paul Robeson High School graduates who are now supposed to be attending Morehouse College. They were accepted into Morehouse after officials there caught sight of their viral video that depicted them taking a stand in support of keeping Paul Robeson High School out of the grips of Bloomberg's privateer friends like IBM. Administrators at Morehouse said that these two young men are the kind of young men they want at Morehouse: leaders.

But here's the kicker. They were accepted late and could not get the full scholarships they need. Morehouse has offered them $30,000 each. This means that they each need at least $10,000 more just to cover tuition and room and board. Living expenses and books are easily an extra $6,000 to $8,000 for the year.

And to make matters even more challenging, Ennis is homeless, currently living with friends from couch to couch. Likewise, Pearce has to take care of his ailing, cancer-stricken grandmother and dementia-bound grandfather. They are both without their parents, trying to make do and move ahead.

We cannot let these two young Black men down by ignoring their financial plight. Collectively within Black New York, their $20,000 need is no "biggie." We collectively spend that amount everyday on just one or two brands of soda.

If you want to see these brothers shine at Morehouse, go online to robesoncollegefund.wordpress.com and send your contributions.

They are not giving up in spite of the odds against them, and I'm not giving up on them. Are you?

Sam Anderson is a retired math and Black history professor and the author of "The Black Holocaust for Beginners." He is a member of the Coalition for Public Education and Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence.

For more information:

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8FlQhJtLRQ&feature=related
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrYaYyMzg6w