UCLA student Sy Stokes has come up with a brilliant way to call attention to the dismal number of black males at the taxpayer funded public institution. His spoken word video on the issue has reached more than 220,000 views on YouTube in just a few days.
The 5-minute video features Stokes performing as he stands in front a group of his fellow black male students. Stokes, who identifies as black, Cherokee and Chinese, points out that the UCLA only has 660 black male students and 65% of them are undergraduate athletes.
The statistics that Stokes highlights at the top of the video speak for themselves:
- In fall 2012, the total enrollment for African American males at UCLA was 660 students or 3.3% of the 19, 838 other males at the school
- 65% of that 660 African American male student are undergraduate athletes.
- Of the 2,418 entering male freshman students, only 48 are African American.
- The graduation rates for African American males at UCLA is 74%. This means that of the 48 African American freshmen who enrolled last year, statistically, only 35 are expected to graduate.
Stokes goes on to point out a more alarming stat with poignant words: "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."
This problem is not unique to UCLA. The school actually ranks high for black enrollment amongst "public Ivies," or state institutions that compete with Ivy League schools in academic rigor, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.
Stokes points out in the video one of the issues disproportionately affecting black students at UCLA is lack of funds.
“Most of us are dropping out from the lack of financial aid," Stokes said.