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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Back to the real talk issue

Well I want to use that as a starting point to go back to a subject that I really didn't touch upon much. Recruitment.

Morehouse fills a valuable niche in the higher education market. A lot of guys may complain about it, but Morehouse is the only school in the world whose clientele consist of mostly black male students. The only university-level school dedicated to teaching black male students.

Since I attend this school my top interest is to get other black males to consider college. I started with some of my male cousins although the ones I've been closest too I haven't had much success. Their heads were probably on other things, when I wanted to get them to consider Morehouse one outright said that he didn't want to be around "all those men". Then I told him that there are women across the street, but the bottom line was that he wasn't even thinking about college.

Well I may advertise that I went to Morehouse, but I want to encourage young men to consider college. Not to be intimidated by it, but at least realize that the option is there for them to take advantage. They shouldn't let themselves be cancelled out because they may feel inadequate for whatever reason.

If I was in a position to do it, I would like to recognize those who are doing something positive with their lives. I won't stop with college, but certainly those who are about to join the service should be recognized because I think it's very positive to want to serve the nation in the military.

The point is that there are other people who are about to make the journey into the real world. I especially want to note those who just so happen to be male who are doing something positive, because now more than ever that needs to be seen at least for black males. Especially there aren't many in their lives who aren't exhibiting positive behavior or accomplishments at least beyond the academic setting.

BTW, I found an article online the other day. If young black boys are struggling before they leave K-12 education, especially in the public schools. They're unfortunately having trouble at the historically black college:
An Associated Press analysis of government data on the 83 federally designated four-year HBCUs shows just 37 percent of their Black students finish a degree within six years. That’s 4 percentage points lower than the national college graduation rate for Black students.

One major reason: the struggles of Black men. Just 29 percent of HBCU males complete a bachelor’s degree within six years, the AP found.

A few HBCUs, like Howard University and all-female Spelman College, have much higher graduation rates, exceeding the national averages for both Black and White students. But others are clustered among the worst-performing colleges in the country. At 38 HBCUs, fewer than one in four men who started in 2001 had completed a bachelor’s degree by 2007, the data show. At Texas Southern University, Voorhees College, Edward Waters College and Miles College, the figure was under 10 percent.
...
Still, HBCUs’ low completion rates, especially for men, have broad consequences, on and off campus. Women account for more than 61 percent of HBCU students, The AP found. They have unprecedented leadership opportunities, but also pay a price — in everything from one-sided classroom discussions to competition for dates
Read the whole article it's a good read. But we should ask ourselves what's the problem here? Why are black men struggling in college?

That question should be as easily asked as why black males not going to college. It should be just as easily that a lot of them are intimidated by college. Then it's also a matter of being intimidated by those women who are more driven to succeed, but why aren't the men driven in the same way. Who's behind them enough to encourage them to move forward in their lives and careers?

I don't have an answer to that question an HBCU setting is probably going to be different than a bit more mainstream diverse classroom on college campuses around the nation. Like that article started off with they're no longer the only options anymore, but even at these HBCUs black males are struggling.

Like I said my proposal is to say that young black males who are either leaving 8th grade or their senior year of high school should be encouraged. We should recognize what they're going to do in their lives whether they're going to college or joining the military. I would expect that we should hope that they may want to do something exceptional in their lives.

We don't have to have to hold their hands necessarily, but the one thing we can do to help them succeed is if they knew that there are people who are behind them.

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