Saving Black Boys

Discussion in 'Black Parenting' started by Destee, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Saving Black Boys
    The elusive promises of public education

    By Rosa A. Smith

    Among the many children in America who are at risk and likely to lack success in school -- most often because they lack authentic educational opportunities -- the African American male student stands alone in terms of the accumulation of negative factors affecting his future. The evidence is startling, and the sum of all these negative factors alarming.

    Special Education: Black boys in 2000-2001 made up 8.6 percent of national public-school enrollments. They constituted 20 percent of those classified as mentally retarded, 21 percent of those classified as emotionally disturbed, 12 percent of those with a specific learning disability and 15 percent of those placed in special education. Twice as many black boys are in special education as black girls, a fact that rules out heredity and home environment as primary causes and highlights school factors.

    Expulsions and Suspensions: Despite representing only 8.6 percent of public-school enrollments, black boys comprise 22 percent of those expelled from school and 23 percent of those suspended.

    Dropouts: While between 25 percent and 30 percent of America's teenagers, including recent immigrants, fail to graduate from high school with a regular high-school diploma, the dropout rate for African American males in many metropolitan areas is 50 percent.

    Graduation Rates: Nationally, 50 percent of black males (as compared with 61 percent of black females, 80 percent of white males and 86 percent of white females) receive diplomas with their high-school cohort. In some urban districts, 30 percent of black males are in special-education classes, and of the remaining 70 percent, only half or fewer receive diplomas.

    Juvenile Incarceration Rates: For whites under 18, 105 out of every 100,000 are incarcerated; for black youths the rate is three times as high, 350 per 100,000. More black males receive the GED in prison than graduate from college.

    Unemployment: According to the 2000 census, the percentage of black youths 16 to 19 neither employed nor in school was 24.7 percent, nearly twice the national average for this age group and six times the national unemployment rate.

    As a society, we don't like to talk about the magnitude of this failure. Ted Sizer, founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools, speaking at an Educators for Social Responsibility meeting about America's most vulnerable students, asked, "Why are we so silent on these questions? ... Why is the silence so pervasive?"

    Click Here To Read Entire Article

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  2. mrron

    mrron Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Where is the family structure?

    I grew up in the sixties. I was raised in Cincinnati Ohio. The projects was the typical abode for most of the black kids I knew. There were projects all over the city. We thought that living in a newer one gave us more status, that was important. Many more of us had a father in the family during those times, my brothers and I didn't. But the extended family was there for us, and encouraged us to stay in school and to graduate. My mother raised six boys alone, and five finsihed high school. The last one quit a few weeks before the year ended. It was expected that we all finish school, period. My mother's policy was that you had to move out of the house the same day you quit school, if you decided to quit. Most of my friends finished too. Parents wouldn't allow dropout buddies to come around after they quit, too strong an influence.

    I am sure we got cheated in some ways even then, some of the white kids I served with in the military told me that it was standard knowledge that we (blacks), got an inferior education, it was by design, and expected.

    All my kids finished school also, and my grandchildren are batting 1000. Those statistics you gave, Destee, reflect on our community in the worst way. We live in a world were races compete for everything, one race is not going to give a competing race a hand in winning. We stand alone in this struggle. There is really nothing in those stats that surprise anyone who lives in the "hood".

    I now live in Mayberry (sorry folks), I worked hard to get out of the inner city, so stats are quite different. We graduate about 90% both black and white. There are more white kids arrested than blacks also. Black men and women who have been fortunate enough to raise their standard of living, aren't going to tolerate criminals and misfits coming from their progeny.

    For those kids that aren't suppose to be "left behind". There needs to be a congressional investigation to find out why they are, and why they are disproportinately in the inner city. Black folks need to be writing there congressman about this. Those kids in detention, under suspension and expulsion etc., are the future dropouts and then future drug dealers (criminals) and then inmates, cyclical inmates, because they have been damaged beyond repair in some cases. The cycle starts and ends in our community, help is not going to come from the neighbors across the railroad tracks. If we could just get back to the basic African concept of family unity.
     
  3. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    1. The family unit must be maintained. That wont be done until sisters start admitting that they have and are making bad choices in mates. Moreover, that there is a phenomenon of not have a mate at all, just a sperm donor.

    2. Failing that, understand that manhood starts at birth. That a strong, decent male role model must be found early on.
     
  4. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Kemetstry ... don't make me (more) krazee. I am not about to let you put this entire phenomena on the shoulders of Sisters.

    Quit it.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  5. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It should not be expected that the 'west' would truly educate (lead externally)

    Placing the blame on one side is not only self-defeatist but also a tactic used to subjugate our people in this world in the first place...playing one side against the other.....

    What I will post below does NOT apply to the average lazy guy that has all the resources he needs but does not choose to take advantage of it.

    It does start at home,but a 'home' is not just a building where your family is and it is NOT where the heart is since most people in this world today measure their 'heart' by the ideologies they did not create...home is where you want it to be,it is that simple.

    The term 'home' for a number of people also implies family,but by whose ideology,is the family just your childs mother and the child being the result of a fling that was had with no commitment involved? Or did one party not realize the true feelings of the other?All of those questions are some of the fundamental questions that can be applied to individual couples/small groups but NOT the population of our people in the world...

    The question is,in my opinion, what ideology or definition of 'manhood/womanhood' are you operating by,is it the definition if your people (or yourself) or are you adopting a concept/interpretation that is foreign to your people meaning that you will have to mold yourself and therefore defeat yourself....


    That article there is the typical 'we have to save those who we do not care for in the first place" type of jargon and is measured as it relates to ECONOMICS and how much money they can make off of black/afrikan youth in that country..

    Another question is solutions to our problems in this world,some of which may not come about without bloodshed.....

    Does anyone have any idea as to where to start?
     
  6. A007

    A007 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Everyone who has the " every man (family) for themselves" attitude is to blame

    At some point, no doubt soon after slaves were set free and pitted against each other, we stopped being a FAMILY. What I mean is a village/community family. We have the attitude that no one should discipline our kids but the mother and father. That perpetuates the attitude that "that's not my kid, therefore not my problem."

    Our definition of family is what needs to change FIRST. The 3rd definition of family in Websters dictionary is: A group of people related by ancestory and/or marriage; relatives. We have lost sight of the fact that we are all related; even if only by skin color and economics. We can not begin to change our situation until we change how we think. We have to ALL think of ourselves as family. We have to get back to the " it takes a village to raise a child " mentallity in order to save our youth, both male and female. Once we have enough love and foresight to stop someone else's child from doing wrong, skipping school, dropping out etc., we will then be on the path to controlling what kind of educational changes we make AT HOME in our FAMILIES and it won't matter what they TRY to do to stack the deck in their favor.

    There are young men in my community (mostly friends of my kids) who I ask about their grades and challenge to do better AND tell them WHY it is important that they do better. My, fiance' has even pulled some off the street from playing and made them come to OUR house to study. THEY COME BACK ON THEIR OWN. They just need an environment that is conducive to learning and supportive of their achievement. For many reasons parents don't create that evironment in the hood:Too busy, too tired, not acedemic themselves, too depressed, too selfish, or just neglectful. Whatever the reason for the parent not supporting their education, there is still a community that can do it if they had the right attitude and cared enough.
     
  7. Sami_RaMaati

    Sami_RaMaati Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Some very important points need to be made here:

    We need to be aware of the fact that we should never view these stats from the standpoint of them indicating that there is a problem that is inherent to black boys. Let's Real Eyes (realize) that these institutions (Mis-Educational and Criminal Just-us) cannot be trusted to deal impartially and fairly with black boys, and hence are more likely to put them into, e.g., special education when the problem could very well be something else that they have failed to take into account or are outright ignoring. For example, white "educators" and other health "professionals" tried to put one of my sons into the Lifetime Failure Curriculum (i.e., special ed) track when they KNEW that he had a speech & language developmental disability which hindered his ability to learn. We addressed this problem on our own by hiring a private speech/language therapist with years of experience dealing with black boys and have gotten excellent results. Had we followed their suggestion, he would still be in special ed, and given mindless busy work which would do nothing to advance him intellectually. My question is: how many of these black boys are inappropriately thrown into special ed classes when they should be receiving services which directly address the question of why they're not performing academically? Also, I heard a piece on NPR a few weeks ago about--get this--gifted students failing in school because the curriculum is not challenging enough for them, but there are not enough slots in the gifted programs to accommodate them. There are other reasons why black boys aren't doing well, but I just want people to understand that the system needs to be scrutinzed too.

    With regard to the criminal just-us system, anybody who knows the system can tell you that Black youth and white youth who are ACCUSED of committing crimes are treated differently. In many cases, it "happens" that white parents are called to the police station to pick up their white criminal children, NO CHARGES ARE FILED, AND NO PAPER TRAIL IS CREATED. If charges are filed, the parents of the white youth will hire a private attorney to get a FAIR trial, plea bargain, dropped charges, etc. When a black youth is ACCUSED OF doing the same thing, the most severe charge is filed, the maximum penalty is sought, yet there's rarely adequate legal representation. These are the stats that find their way into the annual FBI reports and articles like the one above.

    This highlights the problems of assuming, a priori, that there's nothing wrong with the miseducational and criminal just-us systems and the people who run them. Contrary to what white racists would have us believe, these "statistics" are far from being "objective" proof that there's something inherently wrong with black boys.
     
  8. Sami_RaMaati

    Sami_RaMaati Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    As far as what to DO about this, solutions are outlined by Raymond Winbush, PhD, in his book entitled "The Warrior Method: A Parents' Guide For Rearing Healthy Black Boys," and "Asafo: A Warrior's Guide to Manhood" by tonite's chat room/talk guest Mwalimu Baruti. Both of these books recognize the importance of Afrikan Centered Education as being crucial in the proper psychological development of black males. Black psychologist Amos N Wilson has written "Awakening the Natural Genius in Black Children" and "The Developmental Psychology of the Black Child" and Jawanza Kunjufu has written "Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys." In "The Warrior Method", Winbush outlines a number of steps black parents can take, starting BEFORE the child is born. He also lists three methods of black parenting: The White Way, The Gray Way and The Black Way:

    “The White Way

    “The White Way is practiced by most African Americans; it assumes that while society places undue burdens on young black men—police harassment, severe sentencing in juvenile courts, and low expectations for academic performance—it is basically “fair” to them, and if problems do arise, they can be solved within a system that is relatively stable and unbiased. If a black boy gets in trouble at school, it is assumed that, whatever the infraction, the appropriate discipline was meted out fairly and was in the context of the rules governing the school. [emphasis added]

    “Parents who raise their sons in this way come from every class within the African-American community. While the method may be identified by the presence of child-rearing books such as Dr. Spock or reading Parents magazine in the home, it is also indicated by the total psychological submission of the parents to whatever “system” holds their son. There is little questioning about methods from these parents; in fact, the “system” may he defended, even if its treatment of the black boy is questionable...[emphasis added]

    “The Gray Way

    “The Gray Way of rearing black boys is characterized by parents’ recognizing that the systems through which black boys travel must be carefully navigated. There is a healthy skepticism about criticism received from both black and white teachers, who may not have their sons’ best interests at heart. Quite often, black parents who raise their sons by the Gray Way are viewed as troublemakers by the institutions that provide services for their children because they take time to review carefully both sides of any disciplinary issues. They usually make frequent visits to the school and write letters to those with authority over their children, challenging disciplinary action meted out to their sons.

    “The Gray Way is differentiated from the White Way by a reaction to racism rather than an unconscious acceptance of its presence. It understands that racism is part of the daily lives of black people in this country, and shuns solutions that seek to ignore cultural differences among children. Parents who rear their children in the Gray Way are often angry and frustrated at organizations and individuals that seem unrelenting in their denigration of black boys....

    “The Black Way

    “...Black Way parents are rare. At the core of their child-rearing methods is the belief that African- centered methods and values are the only choice in raising healthy black boys in America. The celebration of African culture is reflected in their homes with artwork, books, and memorabilia reflecting a love of Africa. Kwanzaa is given a place in their homes, and its Nguzu Saba (Seven Principles) are valued throughout the year and taught to future generations.

    “These parents see their sons as warriors doing battle on several levels with racism, and they support them in these struggles. While their sons may go to traditionally white institutions for education or recreation, they believe that, at best, these institutions can train their children but not educate them. They believe their children’s education is the direct responsibility of parents and relatives, and they know that their children’s education goes far beyond the four walls of a school. They see black institutions such as African-centered churches, museums, and universities as bastions against traditional methods of learning, and place their sons in environments where they can learn about self as well as things.

    “Similar to Gray Way parents, Black Way parents find protest a necessary tool to ensure that their sons will receive proper treatment in whatever organization they find membership. Their protest, however, is made with the idea of systemic change that will challenge the very essence of the organization. These changes can take the form of creating an alternative school, college, or recreational group that is more culturally specific to African ideals. The education of their children is viewed as belonging to the parents and not the school system, and care is taken in WHO educates their children as well as WHERE they are educated. When their sons reach university level, historically black colleges and universities are high on their list; even if the final college selection is a traditionally white institution, their sons are carefully guided and counseled on the major selection with regard to professors' attitudes toward black boys.
    [emphasis added]
     
  9. A007

    A007 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Still no mention of community

    Sami,

    All of that is interesting, but it still only allows for those children that have parents whom themselves are enlightened and/or educated. What about the masses of children who don't have parents like that? Where is the FAMILY/community to help?
     
  10. Sami_RaMaati

    Sami_RaMaati Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    At the individual level there's not a lot that can be done except to try and reach those children who are already within our sphere of influence (neices, nephews, perhaps a neighbor's child, etc.). On another level, we can do a lot more by either starting our own Afrikan centered educational, cultural, and spiritual institutions (easier said than done) or join one that is already established and help to grow it.

    One sad reality that we have to come to grips with is the fact that a whole lot of children will fall through the cracks because we can't save every one of them. I tutor math and reading in the school system in Chicago (and do occasional assistant coaching) and these kids come to school with major issues. They are literally being driven crazy by their so called parents.
     
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