10 Black Male Yale Students Show What the Ivy League Experience Can Look Like

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A group of Yale University students has gone viral for prominently displaying Black excellence on social media.

One of the men, 21-year-old Akintunde Ahmad, tweeted the image of himself and his nine Black male friends at the Ivy League school Sunday, April 23, using #BlackMenofYaleUniversity and it now has 14,000 retweets and 30,000 likes.

He followed up the tweet with a video of the group shouting out their hometowns, which range from New Orleans to Los Angeles, which racked up several responses along with the original tweet.

Many were enamored by the fellas’ attractiveness.

One response could be celebrating the brothers’ academic achievement or their fineness — or both!

“I definitely can’t speak for all Black men at Yale,” Ahmad told Essence. “But, for myself, I’ve found my experience to be fairly comfortable, as many of the issues I dealt with on a daily basis surrounding gun violence and trauma in high school just don’t exist on my college campus.

“Originally, we all had our struggles with adjusting to a college atmosphere that was not representative to the environments we grew up in. But, we embraced the change and turned to each other for support to make sure that we all continued to thrive, [whether] in academics, on our sports teams or in our social lives.”

The group, which will continue the social media effort to show Black students’ contributions to Yale, originally commissioned photos from fellow student Vivian Dang to have some professional images of themselves. But, a bigger idea was realized when the men decided to showcase Black male collegiate success.

Success is something Ahmad is familiar with since he appeared on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” in 2014 after scoring 2100 on his SATs and earning a 5.0 GPA.

“The greater message behind these photos is that we are Black men first and Ivy League students second,” said Ahmad, who assured Twitter users there are hundreds of Black men at Yale, which had a 10-percent Black student enrollment last school year, according to the website. “Our school doesn’t define us, but we did want to showcase what our Ivy League experience looks like.

“The hope is that aspiring young students can look at these images and picture themselves in our [shoes]. Positive imagery goes a long way.”

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