Last Thursday, Beyond the Classroom blogger Tracey Savell Reavis wrote a thoughtful piece about the factors that contribute to young black males’ success in college. So it was really apropos that on the same day, the U.S. Census Bureau released their latest figures on how many people in the country hold bachelor’s degrees.
At first glance, the results from the Current Population Survey are heartening: more than 30 percent of American adults now hold bachelor’s degrees, a first in our nation’s history. Among black adults, the number of men and women with bachelor’s degrees climbed from 15.7 percent in 2001 to 19.9 percent. But first impressions can be deceiving. While every demographic saw gains, black men and women continue to trail behind whites and Asians. In fact, in the past decade the achievement gap has only become larger.
It is the end of February, Black History Month. It’s a time when we honor the black leaders who helped make America what it is today. But we must do more to honor the young black men and women who will shape our future, because they currently live in a culture of low expectations.
Social activist Dorothy Height said, “We have to improve life, not just for those who have the most skills and those who know how to manipulate the system. But also for and with those who often have so much to give but never get the opportunity.” Across the nation, Communities In Schools works to give young black men and women the opportunity. We break down the barrier of low expectations and help students recognize their potential. Our site coordinators organize community resources so that students have everything they need to thrive, whether it’s counseling or health care, school supplies or help with college applications and scholarships.
The truest way to honor the famous figures in black history is to close the achievement gap and help today’s students succeed. If we take what we learned this month and apply it to every day of the year, we can change expectations. We can help more students earn post-secondary degrees, achieve bright futures and make history.
New study from University of Pennsylvania focuses on education success for black males.
Although it’s a story that rarely appears in the media, there are black male students who not only go to college, but also graduate. Enrollment statistics are alarmingly low – in 2002, black men accounted for only 4.3 percent of students enrolled in institutes of higher education – and are a clear indication there is still a serious issue of black male underachievement. But the fact that there are success stories prompted a series of questions and then a study, that ultimately shed light on what factors contribute to success in education for some black males. The study’s author, Shaun R. Harper, Ph. D., at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, hopes the results can provide some direction for what needs to be done to improve the rate of academic success for future generations. View full article »
Singer Ella Fitzgerald said, “It isn't where you came from, it’s where you're going that counts."
We all know that to make a difference, it’s not about what you say; it’s about what you do. But sometimes, our words truly can have the power to motivate others to go out and change the world.
The people we honor during Black History Month are men and women of action. But their words, in addition to their deeds, continue to inspire people to create, to change, to persevere. We collected some amazing quotes from famous men and women in black history. Which one inspires you the most? Read each then vote in our poll! Is there a different quote you love, but we didn’t include? Share it in the comments section. View full article »
Today’s blog post comes from Communities In Schools’ Grassroots Coordinator Dorian Wanzer.
Dr. Ben Carson
For me, Black History Month is a time to recognize the black experience as an integral part of American history. More importantly, it’s for circulating success stories of determined and courageous African American leaders and visionaries who I admire year-round. Communities In Schools stresses the importance of students’ one-on-one relationship with caring adults as a basic for academic and life success.
After reviewing biographies of black history icons like Dr. Ben Carson, Dorothy Height, and Ossie Davis, a question came to mind: did these individuals have mentors? The answer is yes. Their accomplishments are the result of perseverance, opportunity and, of course, guidance from a caring adult. View full article »
Whether it’s by reading books, listening to speakers or watching movies, one of the more important things we can all do during the month of February is keep learning. We must continue to learn about and remember the leaders in politics, science, the arts and civil rights who have helped shape our current society. And we must learn about our current leaders, who are shaping our future at this very moment.
Here at the Communities In Schools national office, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite books, movies and other media that we enjoy during Black History Month. Do you have any to add to our list? How do you Honor Black History Month? Please share in the comments section below! View full article »