Baby Geniuses: Snapshots Of 7 Of Our Favorite Black Child Prodigies
For most of us, childhood was the time where we ate glue, combed gum out of our hair, played games like ‘hot potato’ and read books that rhymed. For these children, that simply wouldn’t fly…they had bigger plans. These amazing children have outdone themselves time and time again, garnering respect because of their stellar academics, exceptional physical ability and amazing talents.
Gabrielle Douglas: Olympic Rock Star
A couple of months ago, we would have never guessed that a 16-year-old African American girl would take the Olympics by storm. Now, we can’t turn a corner or lift a magazine without seeing Gabby’s face on it or hearing her name. The young gymnast is the first woman of color and first African American to become the individual all-around champion, and she is the first American to earn gold in both team competitions and individual all-around. Since winning, she’s been on the cover of many magazines and even on the front of the Wheaties box. Skip the magazines, Wheaties??? You know you’ve made it big time when you’re on the front of the breakfast of champions!
Mabou Loiseau: Language Savvy Kid
At the age of five most kids are still trying to wean themselves off of nose-picking, and finally able to draft comprehensible sentences. At the same age, Mabou Loiseau spoke seven languages (French, Creole, English, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Russian), played six instruments (harp, clarinet, violin, drums, guitar and piano), played two sports (ice-skating and swimming) and was involved with two types of dance (tap and ballet). Mabou’s parents shelled out a whopping $1,500 a week for language courses; which is solely sponsored by her father who works 16 hour days as a parking attendant.
The Imafidons: Brainiacs
Dubbed the smartest family in Britain, the two youngest siblings, Peter and Paula, made history in 2009 in the UK for being the youngest students to enter secondary school. The twins’ older sister, Christina, was only 11 when she was accepted to study at any undergraduate institution in Britain, while their eldest sibling, Anne-Marie was the youngest girl to pass A-level computing at 13, and another sister, Samantha, was six-years-old when she passed two difficult high school-level statistics and mathematics exams. The children’s father thanks the disadvantaged inner-city youth program, Excellence in Education, and good genes (of course) for his children’s exceptional academics.
Chelsea Dock: Kid Pianist
Now thirteen-years old, Chelsea has been winning piano competitions since she was 5. She’s performed all around New York City, including Rutgers University, Madison Square Garden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” The CMA Festival, Steinway Hall and dozens of other venues. In addition to her music, Chelsea is a straight A student and has had her artwork displayed at the Public School Arts exhibition. Her artwork was chosen out of 800 entries, and was displayed alongside 44 other artists.
Stephen R. Stafford II
Nothing says “I’m smarter than you” than going to college at a time when most 16-year-old’s are just worried about getting a license or getting out of sophomore year of high school (or going into your junior year). But that’s exactly what Stephen R. Stafford II has going on. In fact, the young man started studying at Morehouse when he was 11, and wasn’t just studying one major, but three. His genius has garnered him much media attention (remember when he was on “Tyra” a few years ago?). Now 16, Stafford continues to do a slew of public speaking, and the young man and his mother like to do outreach programs and provide support for other young and gifted teens. He did drop one of his majors (pre-med), and is currently sticking with computer science and mathematics. He hopes to be done at Morehouse when he turns 17.
Brittney Exline: Puts the Fresh in Freshman
Brittney was once known for being the youngest African American accepted into an Ivy League University –at 13, but now she has set another first by becoming the University of Pennsylvania’s and the nation’s youngest African-American engineer. Exline, now 19, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Computer Science. While in secondary school at Palmer High School’s IB program, Exline attended anthology courses at Harvard University; also, alongside her usual studies, the young genius learned how to speak six languages: English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and German. In addition to all of her great academic and professional feats, Exline has won several pageant titles and she is an accomplished dancer.
Jamia Simone Nash
With an appearance on “Showtime at the Apollo” at the ripe age of 6, Jamia has made a name for herself by showcasing her vocal abilities. Jamia performed at the 2003 Essence Awards and 2008 Academy Awards. She has done vocal accompaniments for Talib Kweli on his single, “Black Girl Pain.” Also, a devoted actress, Jamia has appeared on television series and movies, such as: “My Wife and Kids,” August Rush, “Romeo!,” “Half and Half,” “Jack’s Big Music Show,” “The Young and the Restless,” “The Backyardigans,” “7th Heaven,” and was featured as a 10-year old Fantasia Barrino in a movie about the singer’s life.
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