This Stunning Video Shows the Obstacles Native Youth Face in Education

“Are you sure you want to go through with this?”

Too many Native students know how this feels – being told you can’t achieve your goals. In this video for “Harvard” from his album Isskootsik (Before Here Was Here), writer and spoken word artist Gyasi Ross poignantly captures this feeling.

Follow along with Manny as he fills out a college application, while the teacher who’s supposed to be helping expresses her doubts. Of his own experience, Ross writes, “My family just didn’t have a history or legacy of educational attainment, so I wasn’t really concerned with trying to get good grades or what I was going to do after high school.”

In this video, it’s clear how such discouraging factors can lead to situations like Native communities having the highest dropout rate of any ethnic group. Manny shows us how much Native youth need our support, and what it takes to overcome these obstacles.

With Love,
The Editors at Everyday Feminism

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Gyasi Ross, Native American Hip Hop artist, has released his Spoken Word album Isskootsik (Before Here Was Here) which marks Gyasi Ross’ recording debut. The record features Ross touching on topics as nuanced and relevant as Native American fishing rights, mass killings and the invasion of Christian settlers. With appearances by Slug from Atmosphere and Aboidun Oyewole of The Last Poets, if Gyasi Ross wasn’t already on your underground hip-hop radar, then he should be. Check out his website to learn more about his work.