In 2015, only 15 black, male undergraduates were accepted into Cambridge, a shocking figure that a group of students are trying to change.
“Young black men don’t grow up thinking they’ll make it here,” said Dami Adebayo of Robinson College in a post on the Facebook page of Cambridge University African Caribbean Society (Cambridge ACS) on Monday. “They should.”
The post featured a photo of 14 black Cambridge students, posing on the University’s campus.
— Tunde (@akintundeahmad) April 24, 2017
The Cambridge post, which features the hashtags #BlackBoyJoy and #BlackMenofCambridgeUniversity, has been liked more than 2,800 times and shared by almost 500 people so far.
The Facebook post reads: “It is important that despite their underrepresentation, we let young black people know that this is something that they can aspire to.”
“Inspired by the viral image of young black men from Yale, the Cambridge ACS decided to capture just some of the black men who contribute to one of the world’s most innovative intellectual spaces.”
Cambridge is one of 27 universities that are currently members of the Race Equality Charter (REC), a scheme the aims to address the representation of staff and students from ethnic minority backgrounds, according to the BBC.
However, the students are taking matters into their own hands.
20-year-old engineering student Folajimi Babasola, who appears in the photo, said he “wants the image to challenge the ‘stereotype’ of a Cambridge student, according to the BBC.
“The aim of the picture was really to encourage more black students to apply here because many people get discouraged by a particular image or stereotype of a Cambridge student that they have in their mind, thinking that they won’t fit in or be accepted,” he said.
19-year-old English student William Gore added: “There are people here at Cambridge from different backgrounds, who don’t fit the stereotypical image of what a Cambridge student looks like, doing their thing and killing it.”