Dear Rocky Mount Telegram,
How are you? Now that I have shown you curtesy, let me tell you a little bit about who I am. I am DeVonte Jenkins and I am a 22 year old native of our we’ll known “City On The Rise.” I am a recent graduate of Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC. I graduated with honors while also maintaining a 3.5 GPA. I also studied a semester abroad in China where I successfully completed North Carolina State’s Confucius Institute alongside many of the nations top students. Did I mention I fundraised the entire $5500 alongside my mother in the streets of Rocky Mount. If you were wondering if I were involved in any extra curricular activities throughout my undergraduate career, excuse me I may have failed to realize I was number 14 nationally in the 2013 NCAA National Indoor Track & Field Championships. My event was the long jump, and oh yeah one more thing, the Men Falcons won the entire thing…which technically makes us All-Americans. I might add that I was just voted Spectacular Magazine’s Man of the Year in the Emerging Leaders category. Or maybe me placing 2nd Runner Up in the Mr. Black pageant for the state of NC. Give a call to the NC General Assembly and ask them about my countless hours in the NC Black Caucus or my many dinners in the mansion of your governor, Pat McCrory Oh and it’s nothing that I just became the youngest African American teacher in the Chester Upland District (and aiming for Teacher of the Year) all the way in Chester, Pennsylvania. Now that I’ve gone through just a few of my accolades, which all connects to a point, I propose a question: Why don’t you promote black excellence? While I appreciate Todd Gurley’s accomplishments on signing a deal with the NFL, what about the students that excel academically and athletically from the very slums of one of the most hostile cities in America. My family have sent you information and to be honest I have literally wrote press releases out for you and sent them to various emails your website provides. Not because I want to shine light on my accomplishments, but because our youth needs to see success well beyond the facets of dribbling a basketball or catching a football. With much respect to my white counterparts, I have seen many news articles about Benton Moss (whom graduated alongside me) and his amazing career at the glorious and notable University of North Carolina. While I pondered on writing this for over 3 years out of fear that I might affirm the stereotype that African Americans are angry, I think this post is long overdue. Are my accomplishments aren’t good enough? Is it because my success came under a historically black college? Or quite frankly, is it because I’m black? And please know as much as I didn’t want to pull the race card, I need these questions answered. Every time I visit my troubled community and pick up your subscription I can’t help but wonder why it’s always plagued with homicides and the next criminal man hunt. Well I challenge you Rocky Mount Telegram! What are you perpetuating to our youth? Are you showing them a positive representation of black culture or are you reinforcing black genocide and white hegemony? I understand you have to sell your papers but you also have to realize you are losing the respect of young black professionals like myself who are trying our damn best to shoot down the stigmas of this city!
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