The 2017 class of 32 American Rhodes Scholars appears to include seven African-Americans, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports.
The Rhodes Trust, the British charity the operates the scholarship program, does not announce the race of scholarship winners. But The Journal was able to identify seven Black students, which would mark a record number of African-American Rhodes Scholars in a single class.
Approximately 2,500 American students sought scholarships, in a process that requires them to obtain their school’s endorsement. From that group, 882 candidates moved forward in the selection process to compete for the 32 scholarships.
African-American Rhodes Scholars were not always welcomed at Oxford. The Journal said the Rhodes committee in 1907 was said to have been unaware that Alain LeRoy Locke was Black until after he was selected. However, the first Black Rhodes Scholar is now a celebrated figure at Oxford.
Here is a list of the seven scholars:
Cameron D. Clarke: Community health education and biology major at Howard University.
Aryn A. Frazier: Politics and African American & African studies major at the University of Virginia.
Christian E. Nattiel: Mathematical sciences and philosophy major at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Olivia A. Klevorn: Anthropology major at Yale University.
Aaron C. Robertson: Italian (focusing on Afro-Italian literature) major at Princeton University.
Ahmed M. Ahmed: Biology major at Cornell University.
Cailyn L. Moore: Economics major at Texas Christian University.