Harvard University… established in 1636… holds the distinction of being the oldest college in the United States and considered one of the top institutions of higher learning in the world. Despite being the first center of higher education in the country, it was not until 1870 that an African-American actually graduated from the school. According to Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Theodore Greener, a native Philadelphian, admission was just an “experiment.” But what seemed to be a “let’s see,” sparked a revolution bringing some of the greatest minds (including the first Black president) through their beautifully manicured campus.
Greener was just dope. Check out what was written about his intellectual prowess:
An article appeared in the Rochester Daily Democrat on August 16, 1869: “Richard Theodore Greener, a young colored man and a member of the senior class of Harvard College, is giving public readings in Philadelphia. Mr. Greener’s history is that of a persevering young man who has succeeded in living down the prejudices against his race and color, and attaining by industry, ability, and good character, a position of which he may well feel proud. He was awarded last year, at Harvard College, the prize for reading, and this year he has drilled two young white men who have likewise obtained prizes in the same branch. His course at Harvard has throughout been honorable. He is the first colored youth who has ever passed through that college.”
But how does Greener do with this story?
Less than 10 years after graduating, he became the dean at the Howard University of School of Law. It was there that he helped to rigorously nurture the legal minds of other students of color. There is a scholarship tie fostered by Greener that still connects the two institutions today.
In a recent debate, Howard University went toe-to-toe with Harvard University at the Connecticut NAACP 54th Annual State Convention at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut for the “Great Debate” on October 28.The exhibition, where a winner is not declared, showed the world that the preparation at the HBCU is just as intellectually dominant in the sport and the Ivy League.
You got it right! Puffy’s alma mater has the same level of academic veracity as the alma mater of W.E.B.Dubois.
What were the two subjects?
According to Howard University News, the following topics were debated: “The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump” and “Whether or Not Roc Nation, the business affiliated with JAY-Z, should not have entered into a contract with the NFL.” During the 2017 debate, the topics were about Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem during NFL games and the total ban of automatic weapons for civilian use. Both teams performed masterfully, showcasing the brilliance that continues to be threaded between both schools. While there were no technical winners, though many would say that the true winner is Greener for being the seed that many of this germinated from and that he is smiling from the “Great University in The Sky” on these scholars.
The schools head up against each other again, in healthy competition, on December 22nd. The Crimson and Bison will compete in the annual NCAA game.
Unlike the debate competition, this one is not an exhibition of wit, but braun. There will also be a definitive winner.
The NAACP sponsored debate is reportedly the largest collegiate intellectual competition in the nation.