‘Talented Tenth’ theory may be for women only

This being Black History Month, it is fitting to revisit an important theory of black culture – W.E.B. DuBois’ idea of the Talented Tenth. It speaks of a top tier of the black race who would supposedly attain success, then reach back to uplift their communities.

But with more black men in prison than in college, where is this 10 percent supposed to come from?

As we look around our classrooms, we can probably count the number of men in our classes on one hand. We women would like to ask you, must we bear the cross alone?

The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication has been hosting the Ninth Annual HBCU National Newspaper Conference since Wednesday.

As I attended a session on Thursday, I noticed that the ratio of men to women was almost equal. These young men are the editors and staff of college newspapers at Howard, Hampton, Tennessee State and other universities.

Beyond that, they represent the small number of men who decided to reach for more. These young brothers decided to travel to FAMU for a weekend of professional development and career enhancement.

Every black man will not make it to the NBA, the NFL, BET or Def Jam Records. Some of the men in college recognize that. The rest of you better stop dreaming and get on our level. The women in our University and other schools are handling their responsibilities whether the men are with them or not.

Driadonna Roland for the Editorial Board.