Listen to this article here

By BWSTimes Staff

The majority of African-American students attending Carver Middle School view Booker T. Washington High School, a nationally ranked magnet school, as the only pathway to success.

Usually, a rocky road is the path students see when it comes to their other options besides attending Booker T.

Every spring, students who apply to Booker T. have their dreams come true and get to join that exclusive club of being a Hornet, or a somber feeling pervades their emotions when they receive a rejection letter from the prestigious high school.

Earnest Kellum received the latter; however, he didn’t let that stop him from finding success at a local charter. He chose Langston Hughes Academy, a charter school made special just for him.

“I felt like Langston Hughes Academy was the only other option in the city that would give me the choices and opportunities that would lead me to success.” – Earnest Kellum


Earnest is a member of the debate and speech teams, the drama club, and he plays for the charter’s football program.

Justin Daniels is the debate, speech, and drama team coach. Earnest says Daniels is like a father to him. Earnest says he likes Langston because there are a lot of African-American male teachers there, teachers that look like him and that can relate to his everyday life outside of school.


Earnest recently won a first-place trophy in the African-American High School Heritage Bowl for debate.

Last year, his team was 6 – 0 in speech tournaments and they received several medals.

Earnest is looking forward to graduating in the spring of 2019. He plans to attend Lincoln Tech in Denver, CO to attend their Diesel Mechanic program.

“One of the things we really strive to do is have instructors that look like our children. We feel that it is very important in building the bonding relationships that will last a life time. We have quite a few male teachers and a lot of them are ministers and they a huge impact on the young men as well as the young women.” – Ms. Cherly Henderson is a History Teacher at Langston Huges Academy.

YouTube video


The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...