Cynthia Williams
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thread 1/7
I am one of the millions of Black Americans who benefited directly from #AffirmativeAction programs in colleges and universities.

I am also one of the last Black children in NC integrated into an all-white school.

Here's how the programs helped me in my long life, #Spoutible :

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06:10 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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thread 2/7
I was a quiet child most of my life due to family dynamics that weren't healthy. When I was sent to an all-white grade school as part of my city's delayed integration effort I was scared witless. I'd never seen a white kid in class. This fear only added to my quietness. It wasn't good.

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06:14 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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thread 3/7
My scholastic aptitude blossomed while I went to my new integrated school. I finally had the books and teachers teaching me things I wasn't learning in my old school. I quickly became an A student. Things were humming along until it was time to go to middle school.

Then the problems started.

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06:16 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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thread 4/7
When it was time to go to middle school, I...a solid A student who happened to be Black and a female...was recommended to be placed in a remedial learning class.

For an "unknown" reason.

With most other Black kids in this formerly all-white middle school.

My parents freaked.

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06:19 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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thread 5/7
When my parents stormed the Principal's office to find out what was going wrong, they were told the following,

"Your daughter has social awkwardness and we thought it best to place her in the classes where most of our Black kids feel most comfortable & WITH THEIR OWN KIND".

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06:21 AM - Jun 30, 2023 (Edited)
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Cynthia Williams
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thread 6/7
My parents threatened to file a lawsuit against the school. The Principal relented. The school assigned it's 1st Black Counselor to be my school advisor. The Counselor was hired part of the school's AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM requirements forced upon them by US law.

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06:25 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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thread 7/7
The Black Counselor's 1st step was to test me to determine my IQ. My score was 140. I was not a stupid child.

The Counselor then tested me to see where my skills were the greatest. I tested high in math and science.

In fact, I tested so high that she recommended I skip a grade.

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06:28 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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f r e d k i p t e r
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
aside: you have my favorite profile background on all spoutible.

when i land on your page i almost always have to study, well, admire.

i still haven't grasped it; not sure i want or need to.
06:15 PM - Jul 08, 2023
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f r e d k i p t e r
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
i'm glad this no-nonsense, if i may, overcoming-institutional-failures thread of yours made its way to me. exemplifies a basic reason i'm here: to benefit from others' experiences. so thank you, Cynthia Williams!

i fear for other unknown brilliance which has been/is being dimmed. or extinguished.
06:12 PM - Jul 08, 2023
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Rebecca Mauk
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
I knew a girl just like you in grade school. Her name was even Cynthia.

My best friend for several years. She was the requisite "black child" and I was the requisite "poor white trash child".

Both of us shunned, clinging to a lifeline.

I still miss her and think of her strength every single day.
08:49 PM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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In response to Rebecca Mauk.
What a coincidence, Rebecca! I had a classmate named Rebecca Boone. She was one of 3 white classmates (Rebecca, Shields, and Beth) who befriended me in high school. Many of my classmates liked Rebecca. Could you be her? If so, what an incredible confidence.
09:17 PM - Jun 30, 2023 (Edited)
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💜 Callie 💜
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
😭 👏🏽 Thank you for sharing your experiences. It’s important for people to understand the very real personal struggles we face. Even today, there are schools that treat our children like this. Thankfully there are heroes like yourself & those who lifted you to be your best. Representation matters.
02:29 PM - Jun 30, 2023
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Pamela B'well
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
@BLACKSTEMUSA
So important to include that others who benefited by #AffirmativeAction were placed in your path to then offer you a hand up, and to provide your parents the needed support to advocate for you, Cynthia.

Bring on the work-arounds!
#ExpandTheCourt
while we’re at it!
01:56 PM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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In response to Pamela B'well.
Yes, Pamela. An affirmative action hiring reqt helped bring a wonderful counselor in my life who saved me from a middle school disaster. I got into advanced classes because of newly created affirmative action program introduced for smart Black kids like me. I was able to apply to top colleges w/AA.
02:46 PM - Jun 30, 2023
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Becky A.
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
Thanks so much for sharing your story.
12:18 PM - Jun 30, 2023
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Anthony Lee
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
Powerful story. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

P.S. You qualify to be part of Mensa. Consider joining if you haven't already. (I'm a member, too.) 🙂
11:56 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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In response to Anthony Lee.
Hi, Anthony! Thanks for the Mensa mention. I once took a Mensa practice test after college. I scored a 139. I was super upset that I didn't re-score 140 on the test so I put it out of my mind to become a Mensa member. But maybe that can be one of my 2024 goals? 🤔 Thanks for your support? ❤️
02:58 PM - Jun 30, 2023
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Deborah Conway
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
11:53 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Laura Rachelle
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
Cindy, I'm so glad you had the assistance from your counselor & teacher. And I'm so grateful that you had affirmative action to ensure they had a way to push back. I'm reading your story with tears in my eyes thinking about all those who won't. The rulings this week are horrendous for us all.💔
11:20 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Priscilla Payne
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
Cindy, you have much to be proud of as do the people who helped you along the way. I admire your perseverance as you achieved your goals. We do still need Affirmative Action. The judges who did this are so out of touch with so many of us in this country.
09:29 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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In response to Priscilla Payne.
Thanks, Priscilla. I was blessed to have people working in every way they could to help me, a shy and "nerdy" child. They understood clearly that the racial issues of the time would've destroyed my future. Many people say young Black kids of today don't face the same struggle. We'll see.
10:04 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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DC in the DMV
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
Thank you for sharing MY story. White America must be held responsible for its system of entrenched institutional racism, and accountable for the abuses it has and continues to visit upon People of Color and women, especially African Americans. Legislate privilege and we'll agitate for liberation.
09:02 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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In response to DC in the DMV.
Thanks for the feedback, DC!
09:40 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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DC in the DMV
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In response to DC in the DMV.
We remember the abuses we endured in the struggle. They only made us stronger, and more aware of the inherent dangers in the freedom struggle. Our ancestors knew this well. We honor them when we refuse to give up and keep on keeping on. You blazed a trail that others will follow. Right on, sister!
11:52 PM - Jun 30, 2023
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You Don’t Own Me
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
Thank you for sharing. Bless the Counselor & teacher. Congrats for persevering. From my perspective you had two strikes against you - race & gender. You also demonstrate how important “expectation” & aspiration are to education & success. So much to say & watch. May the next generation be better t
08:39 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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In response to You Don’t Own Me.
You're correct, Don't Own Me. As a child and teenager, I didn't fully understand how biases tried to negatively affect my future. Thank goodness 2 women, 1 Black and 1 White, saw what was happening, joined together, and blocked the damage. Affirmative action helped make their efforts a success.
09:49 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Bev Turner
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In response to Cynthia Williams.
Thank you for sharing your story Cynthia.
07:41 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Cynthia Williams
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In response to Bev Turner.
Thank you for reading my story, Bev! 🥰
09:52 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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