Male Presence Lacking on College Campuses

I am so delighted when I see young black men who value education. However, based on statistics, black males attending college is as rare as finding a diamond mine in Florida.

There are more black women attending college and receiving master’s and doctorate degrees. At Florida A&M, the female to male ratio is 58 to 42 percent.

According to College Board statistics, 28 percent of black males ages 24-35 only obtain an associates degree or higher. This is a serious problem.

I believe there are several reasons why black males are not in college such as the educational system, the mass incarceration of blacks and lack of community involvement. No, I do not believe black men just don’t care. I also don’t believe black men would rather be uneducated, but I do believe that this is an issue that needs awareness.

Tavis Smiley and Cornell West are two of the most vocal advocates of the war on poverty. They address issues that not only plague minorities but also young black men. These two men are trying to be effective change agents.

But they can’t do it alone. Urban Prep, a Chicago charter school, has made phenomenal gains in black communities. The school has had positive outcomes and their senior class in 2010 had a 100 percent graduation rate. However, what about the rest of the black males?

We can’t send every black male in America to these schools.

We must start at home first. We must educate our children and ourselves. We can’t allow our young black men to be written off the moment they walk into class. As a wise educator once said, Teachers are humans, they don’t drop their prejudices and stereotypes the minute they walk into the door.

Whatever they believe manifests through their teaching as well as their actions said Dr. Yvonne Bell. What I get from this is don’t expect every teacher and principal in your child’s school to have his or her best interest at heart. Although some will, some may not. That is just a fact of life.

Michelle Alexander wrote “The New Jim Crow” which I believe is a marvelous book. She completed more than fifteen years of research before publishing. In this book she tells why she thinks Mass incarceration of young black males is equivalent to the black codes. I wont go into a rant, however, I do encourage all to read it.

So let’s start educating, it is the only way to close the achievement gaps.