Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Black Scholars to Watch: Britney Wilson

January 28th, 2009 by Ajuan Mance

Howard University first-year Britney Wilson is a Black Scholar to Watch


Britney Wilson. As a high school senior, this academically gifted polymath beat out 2000 of her peers to win a four-year “Full Ride” scholarship from the Tom Joyner Foundation. The scholarship provides tuition, room, board, and books for up to 10 semesters. Wilson is using the scholarship funds to pay for her tuition and expenses at Howard University, where she is now a first-year student. During her high school years, the Brooklyn native had a full schedule, performing and competing as a slam poet, singing in a local gospel choir, tutoring in French and history, and working as a teen health initiative peer educator with the New York Civil Liberties Union. In an interview with, Wilson expressed her pride in being a part of the Black college tradition. She explained, “I take pride in representing black intellectuals who choose to attend HBCUs and I intend to show anyone who is doubtful just how much we are capable of accomplishing.” During high school, Britney maintained a 4.0 grade point average, and in the spring of 2008 she graduated 6th in her class. At Howard she plans to double major in English and African American history before moving on to law school. She has lived with cerebral palsy since birth, and sees a law degree as a useful route to reaching her goal of becoming an “advocate for the three demographics [she] represent[s]: African-Americans, females and people with disabilities.” (Source: The New York Daily News).

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Posted in African Americans, Black Colleges, Black Students, Current Events, Higher Education, Howard University

5 Responses

  1. Villager

    Remarkable story of courage and positive motivation. Thank you very much for sharing this story. I look forward to seeing how her future evolves…

    peace, Villager

  2. saint3

    I must say this is a very significant blog.

  3. A. Melody

    I first saw Britney on HBO’s Brave New Voices, the final episode. Her poem “Crutches” left me in tears!! I too have Cerebral Palsy and am a poetess. I’m siked to learn she attends HU, what a powerful girl!!

  4. Ajuan Mance

    I’m going to have to track down that episode of Brave New Voices. I would love to have a chance to become familiar with her work.

    And you are a poetess, too? Very cool. Poetry is one of my great pleasures, and I’d love to read your work. If you ever feel so inclined, you can email me at

  5. A. Melody

    You can find some cell-phone rips of her performance on Youtube. I actually recorded the whole series last night. So I may just do a DVD rip myself. Yes, I am a poet but will admit, I haven’t written anything in awhile. I will hold on to your email though and if you have Facebook feel free to add me: AnJella Melody.