Two Black High School students make history at Harvard University
Two high school students from Atlanta identified as DJ Roman and Keith Harris led their team in winning the 2019 annual international debate tournament at Harvard University.
The duo have successfully maintained their undefeated record for two consecutive years, which marked history in the competition.
Roman is a senior student at North Atlanta High School, while Harris is senior student at Westlake High School.
However, despite having no previous experience in joining debates, they were chosen to represent their debate team in the championship round and defeated other scholars from 15 different countries.
Before the competition proper, Roman and Keith Harris have been under the guidance of an Harvard’s assistant debate coach, Brandon P. Fleming for about 10 months.
The coach who was highly acclaimed for his efforts with the Harvard Diversity Project which aims to recruit black youth in Metro Atlanta to train and put them into Harvard’s summer residency on full scholarships
Fleming in his speech said;
“Most of our students have never been exposed to the power of academic debate,”
“Knowing that they will compete against hundreds of scholars who have years of debate experience combined with the benefit of private and prep schools to their advantage
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We seek to level the playing field by introducing our students to higher level academic disciplines that are typically unavailable in traditional school settings.”
Also speaking on the occasion of their Victory, one of the history make, Roman said; “This is the moment that we’ve worked so hard for,”
“Our accomplishment is far bigger than us; we are showing the world what black youth are capable of achieving when given equal access, exposure, and opportunities.
This win is for our ancestors, our city, and most of all our culture.”