Tredici (WPVI) -- From the basketball courts of the Raymond Rosen housing development in North Philadelphia to the hallowed halls of Oxford University, Hazim Hardeman's story is as improbable as it is inspiring. Once an indifferent student struggling to make his way through a woefully under-resourced educational system, Hardeman barely made it through high school, but his mother's determination sent him on a new course; first to the Community College of Philadelphia, then to Temple University, and ultimately to the distinction of becoming Temple University's first (and as yet, only) Rhodes Scholar.
Hardeman has returned to Philly, and to the adulation of his old neighborhood, who couldn't be prouder of their friend and favorite son. But as Hardeman emphasizes in this wide-ranging and deep-diving conversation, he is far less interested in resting on the laurels of his historic achievement than he is in interrogating the political, cultural and socio-economic barriers that make such an achievement so rare in this day and age.
In Hazim Hardeman, Philadelphia is fortunate to lay claim to a bold and ambitious young thinker, an impassioned activist, a keen and clear-eyed social observer, and an inspiration to Philadelphians from every corner of this troubled and treasured city.
Want to skip around? Here's what you need to watch:
1:50 - Hazim talks about his high school GPA, which was not exactly at Rhodes Scholarship levels. How did he turn it around?
2:22 - He grew up practically on Temple's campus, but it did not feel like it was for him or his friends.
6:46- Ajay asks: "Who carved you?"
8:35 - Hazim talks about the people he learns from.
10:57- How does Hazim see the traditionally white halls of Oxford University contributing or conflicting with his identity?
14:06 - Ajay asks whether universities belong to people of color.
16:45 - Hazim on embracing history while moving forward - and whether it is even possible.
17:20 - Hazim explains who the United States is not a melting pot - it's something else.
18:19 - Can people with significant cultural and historical difference create and live in a united society?
20:45 - Race: An excuse to take from people.
21:59 - Dream Up - Blame Down
23:55 - What is the presumption of privilege? Is it wrong? What is White Privilege?
28:42 - The Civil Rights Movement - Then versus Now.
Watch Part 2 of this intense interview HERE.
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