Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Black Youth and Modern Mis-Education

 I found this article among my facebook suggestions and thought I'd like to share it. This article is on the topic of the broken education system and it's affect on African American youth, especially males. I hope you'll read it and reflect on the contents of the article. It's from a site called There seem to be many other interesting articles and a forum as well. I believe it's worth exploring this site.

The Makings of Modern Mis-Education

(Mybrotha.COM) - Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month and second Black PhD to graduate from Harvard, wrote the acclaimed The Mis-Education of the Negro way back in 1933. In the 1940s, psychologist Kenneth Clark’s "Doll Test," demonstrated that Black children were being psychologically conditioned to yearn and favor the looks of White people at the expense of self-dislike. His critical findings were cited during Brown vs. Board of Education when the Supreme Court desegregated schools in 1954.

Here we are, decades removed and Dr. Woodson’s book is still widely sold and studied, while Black children are still predisposed to view White dolls as "prettier and nicer" with hair that’s "better" than Black dolls. Educationally, we face ever-dismal challenges where Black children enter kindergarten a full year behind Whites; by high school the gap extends to 4 to 5 years; and 58 percent of Black males don’t even graduate high school.

Princeton researchers recently published a 7-year study, concluding that a 20-year "Manhattan Project-effort" is necessary to close today’s education and economic gaps of racial inequality. Just so you’ll know, the original Manhattan Project was a massive pursuit, costing the equivalent of $22 billion and comprising thousands of scientists who developed the A-Bomb in 1945 to nuke Japan into a crisp. So, to infer this same category of endeavor, speaks to the comparative enormity of the challenge.

There's good reason for skepticism since Black kids who dropout commonly say "classes aren’t interesting." And as far back as my childhood in the 1960s, "Acting White" has been a tagline used by Black kids to ridicule those who academically excel. Naturally, adults respond by saying, "there’s nothing White about being smart." Although this is absolutely true, it absolutely misses the point and fails to address the sociopolitical and mis-educational factors that confound young minds to misconstrue smartness with Whiteness.
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