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These Black Men of Cambridge University Have Gone Viral For The Best Reason

There’s a good chance you’ve seen this photograph of 14 black male undergraduates posing at Cambridge University all over your newsfeed this week. There’s also a good chance you’re wondering why.

The students quite simply want to inspire more black men to apply to Cambridge.

The pictures, originally posted on Facebook by the Cambridge African-Caribbean Society (CUACS), have gone viral since being picked up by social media.

The original post, which at the time of writing has already received over 3,000 likes, contains a powerful message: “Young black men don’t grow up thinking they’ll make it here. They should”

According to figures released in 2015, only 15 black men were accepted as undergrads at the University of Cambridge. The 14 men in the picture are not all from the 2015 admission cycle, but they represent the population of black males at Cambridge.

CUACS told BuzzFeed News in a statement: “The real purpose of the photograph was to remind young black individuals that Cambridge is for us. In order to encourage more applicants, we recognise that representation and visibility is vital.”

One student pictured in the post is 19-year-old Donte Nembhard, who is currently studying Chemical Engineering at Cambridge. He told BuzzFeed News: “The main message I want to send to young black boys who want to go to Cambridge is to not be discouraged by the low admission rate. The rate will not increase if the number of applications remains the same. I feel that many young black boys don’t believe they can make it to Cambridge whether that be for social reasons or due to statistics and end up not applying. These are the young black boys we wanted to reach out to.”

Nembhard added: “Rather than attacking the university for the low admission rate when it comes to black students, we wanted to take an approach which focused on empowerment and encouragement.”

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