A few days ago I read an article in the Huffington Post entitled, Child Prodigies: 20 Astounding Young Wunderkinds From Around The Globe, and I gotta say, it was disappointingly one-sided – not one black child prodigy was represented! What a slap in the face, but the piece underscored for me something very sinister about racism/ethnocentrism in the 21st century: It is more often than not subtle & implicit. Anyone reading this article would be quietly directed towards the notion that being black & gifted cannot be empirically substantiated. Implicit racism is sustained by these mythologies percolating through the cultural landscape & the saddest part of it is the victims of such a travesty oftentimes believe this crap & pass it on from generation to generation. Black genius has been historically rejected, omitted & denied in the Western hemisphere – it just does not fit into the dreamy ideological/ethnohistorical framework that has lulled so many to sleep. The fact that African immigrants, for example, are the most successful immigrant group in the US, will not be known to most. The Asian “model minority” is still the dominant, though inaccurate, narrative.
Below are some of the child/teen prodigies that should have been mentioned in the article. They’re out there doing their thing, defying persistent stereotypes & shooting for the stars….