Fatoumata Wins Gold

The NAACP Recognizes Her Essay on the Topic of Reverse Racism

The Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) were founded in 1978, and almost 300,000 young people have participated in the program since its inception. Each year, a handful of competitors receive a gold medal (score of 95-100) in their category. This year, our own Fatoumata was one of those few.

She competed in the original essay category with a piece titled Reverse Racism: Can Minorities Be Racist? “I saw the movie, Dear White People, and in it, when the principal tells Samantha that her radio show, “Dear White People,” is racist, she says, ‘black people can’t be racist.’ At first I disagreed with her, but it made me think, and I did some research which changed my mind. So, I thought it would be a good subject to investigate in my essay,” shared Fatoumata.

“Writing about a topic as controversial as reverse-racism,” said Fatoumata, “allowed me to not only take on a bigger task, but also let me synthesize my thoughts. The most challenging part about working on my piece was ensuring that I communicated what I wanted to say without being biased about the topic. I wanted to present an argument that was based on fact. Not inserting my own opinions was quite difficult.”

Gold medalists were invited to participate in the 2018 National Competition and Conference in Austin, Texas. The sessions Fatoumata attended as an original essay competitor focused on writing as a tool for change: “how to use social media as our platform and the importance of  advocating for what we believe in.”

Reflecting on her experience there, Fatoumata concluded, “It’s clear—we need to have grit and confidence when approaching issues, specifically because we are people of color. I want to go back next year. I think I will investigate the tensions between African Americans, Caribbeans, and Africans.”

Congratulations Fatou and good luck in the next competition!

Download and read Fatoumata’s essay here.

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