Motivational Monday

Black Child Prodigies Mainstream Media Doesn’t Talk About

Andrew Koonce

Andrew Koonce, 16, is a talented African-American violinist from Atlanta. His list of awards and titles are impressive. As an eighth grader, he ranked first place at the Heritage Music Festival in Florida, winning the Maestro Award for best solo.

Rochelle Ballantyne

Rochelle Ballantyne, 18, is one of the top chess players in the world. The Brooklyn native, who currently attends Stanford University on a full academic scholarship, is on the verge of becoming the first black American female to earn the title of chess master. Ballantyne’s U.S. Chess Federation rating is currently 2,062; she needs to reach 2,200 to become a master.

Stephen R. Stafford II

While most of his peers slog through seventh grade, Stephen Stafford, 14, earns credits toward his pre-med, computer science and mathematics degrees at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He will graduate from med school at age 22.

Ginger Howard

Ginger Howard, 20, is an American professional golfer on the Symetra Tour. At 17, the Philly native was the youngest African-American to turn professional and win her first debut tournament. She is the first African-American to earn a spot in the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team.

Jaylen Bledsoe

Jaylen Bledsoe, 16, of Hazelwood, Mo., is a rare breed of high school junior. He started his own tech company, Bledsoe Technologies, which specializes in Web design and other IT services when he was just 13-years-old and expanded it into a global enterprise that is now worth around $3.5 million.

Anala Beevers

Anala Beevers of New Orleans learned the alphabet at four months of age and learned numbers in Spanish and English by the time she was 18 months. At age 4, she became one of the newest members of Mensa, an exclusive high-IQ society. Now, at age 5, she possesses an IQ over 145.

Carson Huey-You

The 12-year-old is the youngest student ever to attend Texas Christian University. Carson, who plans to become a quantum physicist, took calculus, physics, history and religion his first semester at age 11. Given that he was devouring chapter books by age 2 and attending high school by age 5, the boy genius might reach his goal of attaining a doctorate degree before age 20.

The Imafidons

The Imafidons are Britain’s smartest family and have become international models of academic achievement. Dr. Chris Imafidon and Ann Imafidon came from Edo State, Nigeria, to London over 30 years ago and their children have broken national records in education.

Anne-Marie, 23, the eldest child, is multi-lingual. She speaks six languages and graduated from college at age 10. At 13, she was the youngest person to pass the U.K.’s A-level computing exam. She went on to attend John Hopkins University in Baltimore and received her masters degree from Oxford University, all before she turned 20 years old.

In 2009, fraternal twins Peter and Paula made headlines for becoming youngest students to enter secondary school at age 6. Their older sister, Christina, was 11 when she was accepted to study at any undergraduate institution in Britain.

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I came across this portfolio of "Black Excellence" while blogging, and felt the urge to share it with you all. I also felt has though it was important to advocate self-validation or self-gratification being what matters most. Not needing external confirmation or rewards from others is how one really finds appreciation for themselves. This then giving one the ability to garner the success and true happiness they desire and deserve. 
Now, given the under appreciation most media outlets have for outstanding individuals such as the one's above they still continued to do what I feel is innate in every human being regardless of color. The innate capacity of those above never withered away based on the experience of the world and the negative externality that comes with being black. These individuals flourished and were able to maximize their innate abilities, and I believe they did so not alone but with the help from their community. Let’s stop tearing one another down and instead build each other up helping produce more "black prodigies" in the world today. And one way to start doing so is by encouraging little boys and girls to do what they love, challenging their minds and building their self-esteem so they can be confident in themselves not needing external confirmation from anyone.

Sweater Weather

Dear reader, It’s been while since I updated you on anything Jonathan related, so I figured what better way to reintroduce myself than with a photo book. All of which features me wearing a couple of my new favorite go to items for the winter, including an over-sized cardigan and a pair of double monk … Continue reading

East Carolina University Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!

ECU Hands Up Dont Shoot

Dear Reader,

Around the world rallying and protest have become the new normal. With the lack of an indictment in the Ferguson case regarding the gunning down of Michael Brown. And the complete disregard of the law in the trial involving Eric Garner being killed on video by a police officer. But it doesn’t just stop there, Missouri, New York, South Carolina and North Carolina are few of many states where individuals all unarmed died by the hands of a police officers.

There are a lot of opinions and emotions involved dealing with this epidemic and I respect all opinions to an extent. However its important to know the history revolving this conundrum, because police brutality and the gunning down of black people has always been an issue. May I remind you of the civil rights movement which occurred in the late ’50s through 1968, the evil exuded by the policemen was beyond horrendous. But in current day it is becoming more prevalent for today’s generation to see first hands the issues are brothers and sisters faced years ago. Parents fearing for the lives of their sons and daughters, wives perpetually awaiting the safe return of there husband and youth wondering why they’re not good enough.

One opinion based question that struck me the most of them all was “why can’t you do anything else other than protest and riot?”

I strongly feel that there’s not much one of color can do to be heard. Some say “infiltrating the system” by holding a position in it is the solution. But lets take into account something that so many people fail to realize still exist because they’re not affected by it. Racism, but in the context of “infiltrating the system” institutional racism. Institutional racism is defined as any system of inequality based on race. It can occur in institutions such as public government bodies, private business corporations (such as media outlets), and universities (public and private). Not only is it hard for people to find employment based on their race, in several instances people who are more than qualified experience institutional racism. Having their resumes thrown away or looked over even when they’re the best candidate for the job.

Do I agree with rioting no, but peaceful protest is a form of speech and symbolism which allows people to share emotion, demonstrating compassion and unity for a specific cause in a non violent matter.

Regardless of what people have to say about the protest throughout the country, and how some media outlets try twisting the positive into a negative as if every demonstration is a riot. I’m proud of the individuals that partook in the peaceful demonstration at East Carolina University focusing on the “injustices done on all levels under the 7 pillars of humanity: Sex, Race, Spirituality, Mind, Politics, Money, and Resources. While protesting these individuals shared compassion and unity during this time of tribulation our country faces.


To those unarmed who died at the hand of a police officer, you’re never forgotten. Rest in peace

-Jonathan McDougle xoxo

“Just A Guy On The Run”

Parka: The Gap | Shirt: Ralph Lauren | Shoes: Nike | Bag: Coach | Watch: Invicta

Jonathan McDougle


Check out my new post with CollegeFashionista 



The Bomb-digity

The first few days of November have been unexpectedly chilly and that exited me because I finally get to layer! However I decided to keep it simple today. Remember the find of the week I talked about early August featuring the every day bomber that was just $19.80? Well here it is and I absolutely love … Continue reading

Moving forward with rainy fall essentials

Welcoming fall has made me an even more resilient soul when it comes to fashion and transitioning from summer. And I say this because I have been preparing for sweater weather for days in-days out. I love being able to compromise when it comes to what I wear in this funny time of year. With … Continue reading

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