The War on Young, Black Males

7 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

There’s been a lot of internet chatter lately on the growing sucess discrepancies between women and men: women are shooting ahead of men (at least) in the area of education. Far more disconcerting than the nasty implications this has for the dating scene though, are the reasons behind it. When asked to talk about social policy wars, two of my symposium panelists immediately pointed to the War on Young, Black Males.

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Both professors argued that a multitude of different aspects in our society are contributing to a virtual War on Young, Black Males. These aspects included the school-to-prison pipeline, hard on crime politicians, and the War on Drugs. One even argued that the young, black male has been turned into America’s “superpredator.” To listen to and watch their talks, visit thesymposium website.

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There is some good news. There are people working to make this better. For example, Urban Prep Academics is a nonprofit organization that operates a network of all-boys public schools. The organization’s work is directly in response to the poor graduation rates among boys in urban centers.

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Urban Prep was founded in 2002 by a group of African American leaders, including Tim King. King’s proposal was actually rejected twice by the Chicago Board of Education. It wasn’t until the third attempt that he got the go-ahead.

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Founded on a motto of “We Believe” the school centers around respect and high expectations:

“Black boys in particular have real struggles with feeling respected by society,” says King. “We give them respect, and when they start to feel that, they respect their classmates and the people around them.”

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In March of last year, the Urban Prep Charter Academy made headlines as 100% of its first graduating class was accepted into 4-year colleges. This is the same class that entered into Urban Prep with only 4% of the students reading at grade level.

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To what do they contribute this incredible success?Cornel West Tweet

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A strong policy of no excuses. My favorite example of this is that upon entrance into the school, each student is given a wristwatch so they have no excuse to not be to class on time. The program is living and breathing proof of the benefit high expectations can have on youth.

 

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