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‘I Am Rooting for Everyone Black’: How Black People Are Banding Together Again to Help African-Americans Students Win Big

A recent Facebook post asking people to vote for students to receive a scholarship from Serra Honda O’Fallon in O’Fallon, Illinois received an overwhelming response from the Black community.

Serra Honda O’Fallon requested people to vote for the $1,000 scholarship winners by liking the pictures of the students. The Black students garnered a significant number of votes.

In the post, representatives for the car dealership stated, “We need your help in deciding our Scholarship Contest Winner! During the month of June, cast your vote for your favorite picture by liking the photo. We will announce the winner in July! We would like to congratulate all of these individuals for completing High School. Good Luck And Happy Liking.'”

Alanna Scott Demontrel Jones
Recent high School graduates Alanna Scott (L) and Demontrel Jones (R) receive an outpouring of support on Facebook from the Black community. (Photo: Serra Honda O’Fallon screenshots / Facebook)

Recent high school graduates Alanna Scott and Demontrel Jones received an outpouring of support from the Black community on Facebook. Scott, a recent graduate from Mascoutah High School in Mascoutah, Illinois, received over 66,000 votes and more than 631 comments, while her white counterparts received votes in the hundreds and dozens of comments.

Related: ‘Holler for My Baby’: Single Mom Gets Surprise of a Lifetime When She Asks Fellow Parents to Cheer for Daughter at Elementary School Graduation Ceremony

Numerous comments offering support and congratulations were posted for Scott, such as ‘Your FB cousins got you, girl! Congrats!’ and ‘Let’s get it Alanna!! With your BEAUTIFUL BROWN SKIN!’

Jones, a Black student from Cardinal Ritter College Prep, received 62,000 votes and over 350 comments. Comments like “Your virtual aunties and uncles here for you, nephew” and “Our ancestors’ wildest dreams! Congratulations, King!” showcased the support and pride of the community.

“If ‘I’m rooting for everybody that’s black’ was a post lol,” replied one supporter.

Other Black students also received high numbers of votes. Katelyn Stuart from Collinsville High School received over 60,000 votes, Khyree LeFlore from Althoff Catholic High School received 59,000, Kyla Gerhardt from Granite City High School received 58,000, and Olivia Prothro from O’Fallon Township High School received 55,000 votes.

The unity and support displayed by the Black community in voting for these students’ scholarships prompted one person to comment, “If Black people came together like this more often, we could really get somewhere.”

Additionally, Jamie Hendrix from Wesclin High School, who is a Black student with a lighter complexion, received 17,000 votes. Some commenters initially did not “recognize” Hendrix, and the comments were hilarious.

The community also rallied together for Focus Magazine’s Cutest Kid Contest on Facebook. The three Black children with the most votes will appear on the cover of the magazine’s June issue. A little girl named Serenity received 83,000 votes, while two little boys, Charlie and Carter, also received thousands of likes and loves, surpassing the votes received by non-Black children, which numbered in the hundreds.

Focus Magazine announced the winners on Facebook on May 28, stating, “Thank you to everyone who participated in our Cutest Kid Contest! All of the participants’ photos will appear in the June issue.”

Facebook users also came together to vote for Black girls during a national beauty pageant back in April, but after thousands of votes went to a Black contestant named Akeelah in Arizona, many contestants’ headshots disappeared from social media.

Amanda Patterson is the National Director of the Miss High School America Pageant Organization, and she told Atlanta Black Star that removing the pictures had nothing to do with race but with the “malicious” and “hurtful” comments left on the platform.

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