Wow, a whole big 27.
The broadcaster Henry Bonsu, himself an Oxford graduate, has been working for years to encourage and support Black students to apply to Oxford and Cambridge. He takes groups of young people to Oxford for a one-week intensive programme. As he says in Black Success Stories, his teachers encouraged him.
The funny thing is, if you're one of the few Black people in a majority white school, you'll either be the best or the worst. Because if your teacher spots that you are good at something, they'll see you all the time. That's what happened to me. So I was pushed in my Latin, I was pushed in my German, to the point where they said to my parents when I was 15, he could go to Oxford....So if the teachers spot that potential, they will encourage Black children - at least sometimes. But I still think it's mainly up to the parents.
The universities are now under pressure to get in students from non-traditional backgrounds. So if you do the work, you'll get a fair hearing now.
Mind you, Henry was later sacked by the BBC for being "too intellectual". But that's another story.
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