Claudia Rankine, the Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College in Claremont, California, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry for her book Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014).
Rankine’s poetry recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Citizenis her fifth published poetry collection.
Earlier this year, Professor Rankine made literary history when she was the first author to have a work nominated as a finalist in two categories in the 39-year history of the National Book Critics Circle Awards.
Professor Rankine is a native of Jamaica. She is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and holds a master of fine arts degree in poetry from Columbia University.
WASHINGTON – Last Wednesday, WUSA9’s Bruce Leshan did a story about Zach Wood, a young man from one of D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods who got admission to some of the country’s most prestigious summer college programs, but couldn’t afford to go. He had turned to raising donations at a gofundme.com page.
Later that day, viewer Peggy Cooper Cafritz called the station and said she was willing to foot the rest of the bill. She told us she was moved by Zach Wood’s story, but says she was also frustrated that money was going to be the reason why he didn’t get to take advantage of a great opportunity. With Wood about $5,000 to $6,000 short of his goal, she says she couldn’t just sit back and watch.
Cafritz told Wood that the money comes with few, very simple conditions. Most importantly, she wants Wood to keep in touch long after the summer program ends.
Besides being a renowned art patron in D.C., Cafritz has been involved in education in the District of Columbia for decades, including a term as the president of the D.C. Board of Education. She also co-founded the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Northwest D.C.
College admissions letters are out, and for the Class of 2018, Harvard University has accepted a record-high percentage of black students.
According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, of Harvard’s total acceptances for the Class of 2018, 11.9 percent are black, the highest ever for the university. The journal estimates that nearly 170 black students will enter Harvard this fall. Overall, Harvard accepted only 2,023 students from a pool of 34,295 applicants.
Harvard is not alone in its overall low acceptance rate. Other top-tier institutions accepted between 5 and 10 percent of the students who applied.
Williams College, the No. 1 liberal arts college in the country, also accepted a high percentage of black students. This year, the college has offered admission to 165 black students. Black students account for 14.3 percent of all Williams College’s acceptances this year. Half of the admitted students at Williams are black, Asian, Latino or Native American.