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Reaching for racial equality in the university

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A spotlight is shined upon the black community this month, recognizing black history and the way it has influenced the nation. Looking at the past, we are celebrating the progress that black people have made throughout the 20th century.

Influential scholars and leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois and Malcom X, were brave intellectuals who helped to create a more equal environment for all. Today, Barack Obama is the first black man to ever become president of the United States.

Despite all the progress that these men and our country have made, King’s dream, that “One day, this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” has not come true. The black male is still disenfranchised from equality because of ongoing institutional racism within education.

Many people think that just because the nation is led by a “black male,” racism is over and all black people have the same resources and opportunities for success and power. These people don’t understand that Obama is just as white as he is black and that he grew up with privileges that most black people do not have.

Today, black men in higher education have the lowest graduation rates in the nation.

Just 22 percent of black males who began at a four-year college graduated within six years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Study by the Consortium of Chicago School Research for the University of Chicago. In addition, 69 percent of black males in America cannot read at grade level by the fourth grade, compared to only 29 percent of white children, according to the National Association of Educational Process. The U.S. Census Bureau says black men make up 12 percent of the population, but 44 percent of all prisoners.

The question is, why?

“As I hear it, the young African-American males in adolescence get into the culture of violence and cling to it for far too long,” said Pan African Studies professor Darryle Gatlin said. “Young African American males believe that there is a stigma against taking opportunities today.”

African-American females are less discouraged by this stigma and are entering higher education at higher rates, Gatlin explained.

Though the statistics are low for black males and higher education, they are getting better, according to BlackDemographics.com. The enrollment statistics for black men in higher institutions have been increasing since 2010. There were 3.8 million black college students in 2010, according to the site. This was an increase of roughly 2 million from 17 years earlier.

The Schott 50 State Report on Black Males and Education reports that California, as of 2008, had a higher rate of black males graduating than the national average.

In the article “Underepresentation, Injustice and Gifted Black Males,” the author, Tarek Grantham, writes, “Many state and national organizations and scholars have declared a state of emergency, providing a cry for help for black males.”

Fortunately, black activists, teachers and even students are working to better the future for black males.

Senior Communications Major Alvin Roberts, a black male, said in regards to black men:

“We must raise them and instill how important education is,” Roberts said. “We are an oppressed people, and the important thing is that we hold each other accountable. It takes a village to raise a child.”

12 Comments

  1. VladLenin Mar 2, 2012

    In the article “Underepresentation, Injustice and Gifted Black Males,” the author, Tarek Grantham, writes, “Many state and national organizations and scholars have declared a state of emergency, providing a cry for help for black males.”

    Is this same premise LEGITIMATE for the Underepresention, & Injustice of Gifted White Basketball players?

    Vlad

    Hat tip: Walter Williams

  2. VladLenin Mar 2, 2012

    Pan African Studies professor Darryle Gatlin said. “Young African American males believe that there is a stigma against taking opportunities today.”

    Here’s a legitimate point. “stigma against TAKING opportunities”

    This asserts that opportunities exist, and that it is something in the culture that causes black males to not TAKE them. 

    Unless and until the “community” determines to ACTIVELY pursue these “opportunities”, they will continue to trail society at large.

    Conversely, Asians have embraced these “opportunities” with gusto.

    Peace Out!

    Vlad

  3. VladLenin Mar 2, 2012

    Let me walk through a short LOGIC exercise with you’all.

    “Today, Barack Obama is the first black man to ever become president of the United States.
    Despite all the progress that these men and our country have made, King’s dream, that “One day, this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” has not come true. The black male is still disenfranchised from equality because of ongoing institutional racism within education.”

    Huh? The first black president. Despite all the progress that these men and our country have made.

    and

    The black male is still disenfranchised from equality. 

    Clearly, by your description of “the first black president” and “progress that these (black) men have made”, EQUALITY has been PROVEN to exist.

    Equality isn’t about results, but about “opportunity”

    “Many people think that just because the nation is led by a “black male,” racism is over and all black people have the same resources and opportunities for success and power. These people don’t understand that Obama is just as white as he is black and that he grew up with privileges that most black people do not have.”

    As white, and hispanic, and asian, and so on. Priveleges are not granted, or denied by race.

    There are many non-priveleged people(of all colors) that succeed every day. As there are many priveleged people that piss away their blessings.

    STOP BEING A VICTIM, and take “personal responsibility” for your achievements, and/or lack thereof.

    Vlad

  4. VladLenin Mar 2, 2012

    “Today, black men in higher education have the lowest graduation rates in the nation.”

    And, the highest rate of out-of-wedlock births. 73%

    Coinkydink?

    1. Whites are responsible for blacks’ irresponsible fornication practices as well.  Didn’t you know that Vlad?

  5. VladLenin Mar 2, 2012

    Question for Black and Hispanic students. 

    If racism, or inequality is holding you back, what accounts for the success of Asian students?

    Vlad

  6. So in summary, it’s white people’s fault.  Makes perfect sense.

    1. VladLenin Mar 2, 2012

      It’s hard to leave the ‘hood. Victimhood.

  7. BigMac Feb 29, 2012

    The government has been “helping” the black man for 40+ years now. Could the situation be any worse? Maybe it’s time to admit that the solutions are actually the problem. “What the black man needs from government is to be left alone”, Fredrick Douglas.

    1. Michelangelo_L Feb 29, 2012

      I really wish Frederick Douglas was actually discussed during Black History month. Whenever I ask a younger cousin, niece, or nephew what they know about Douglas they respond that he was a great speaker, but that’s it. They never actually discuss what ideas he promoted. God forbid a classical liberal like Douglas have his ideas discussed.

      1. BigMac Feb 29, 2012

        I would be happy if the Rev. Dr. King’s message was honestly discussed during Black History month. “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere”, Voltaire.

    2. VladLenin Mar 2, 2012

      Thomas Sowell (black economist) elaborates on this with the point, that blacks prior to the Great Society legislation, were making great advances in; employment, wealth, education, family development, et al, and that following the signing of this legislation to help “the disenfranchised” that the black community has come to rely more upon government, and less upon themselves and their community.

      The black family has all but deteriorated, with 73% of births now coming out of wedlock. Two parent familes is the single most important factor determining future success (more than race).

      “I’m from the Democratic Party, and I’m here to help”

      Progressive Democrats love state dependency. It produces “loyal” voters.

      Break the chains of “state slavery”, or be willing to get what they’re willing to give you, in their benevolence. From an ever-shrinkening crop of funds.

      Vlad

         

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