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625: Essay B

625: Essay B

Sep 8, 2017
In 1967, the first two black students were enrolled at an all-white private boarding school in Virginia. The main reason they were there? To benefit the white kids. This week: stories about being enlisted to benefit another person’s educational experience. A version of this story appears in The New York Times Magazine.
Play Episode
  • Prologue.

    15 Min
    Host Ira Glass talks to Mariya Karimjee about a college application essay question. Essay B asks students to imagine a person they might meet in college—someone from a very different background. Ten years ago, Mariya’s mostly white high school classmates in Texas didn’t write about an imaginary person they might meet in the future. They just wrote about the one different person they already knew—Mariya. Mariya Karimjee
  • Back in the late 1960s, a wealthy tobacco heiress saw that integration was happening all around the country—except at prep schools in the South. So she set out to find the best black students in neighborhood public schools—in hopes of teaching the white prep-school students to be less bigoted. Mosi Secret tells the story of how the first two black students to integrate Virginia Episcopal Academy succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. Mosi Secret
  • Act Two.

    13 Min
    Mosi Secret’s story continues. We find out about a black student who struggled at VES. And learn what, almost fifty years later, a white student makes of an experiment supposedly undertaken for his benefit. A version of Mosi’s story appears in The New York Times Magazine.

    Song:

    • "Maybe It’ll Rub Off", Tower of Power

Photo

Photograph from Virginia Episcopal School
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