Two of the historic Thompson sextuplets graduated from High School Friday and are headed to Howard University in the Fall.
About 18 years ago, Linden and Jacqueline Thompson made world history when they delivered the first set of sextuplets on May 8. Sadly, one died but still they became the first set of Black sextuplets born in the United States: Emily, Richard, Octavia, Stella and Ann-Marie.
It was also historic because then, they were the first natural (born without fertility treatment or in vitro fertilization) sextuplet pregnancy and the longest sextuplet pregnancy in the United States — more than seven months.
The amazing birth barely made national headlines until 6 months later an Iowan family welcomed the first surviving set of septuplets: Kelsey, Alexis, Brandon, Natalie, Kenny Jr., Joel and Nathan. Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey and their miracle babies got tons of national attention, were showered with gifts and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The media continued to cover them through each milestone and they appeared on the Oprah Winfrey network last year when they all turned 17.
If it wasn’t for all the attention The McCaugheys got, there wouldn’t have been the protests and rallying of activists to also give support and gifts to the Thompson Sextuplets. In the DC area, Jessica Avor, then 16-years old, saw a newspaper article on the disparity in treatment and organized a massive drive which helped secure strollers, diapers and even a van for the family. Only then was the Thompson given mainstream media attention.
That attention led to Howard University giving the sextuplets a full scholarship when they graduated from High School. Now that Stella Thomson and Ann-Marie have graduated from DC’s Hospitality High School, they are heading to Howard in the Fall. The remaining three will graduate next year.
Stella told the local news channel that she wants to be a veterinarian.
The two local stories we found are among very few news coverage about them and even those two were told from the perspective of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania young woman who organized the first drive.
Check them out: