Selectors: Brooke Lowe and Karen Liston
"The crisis in black education first began in the days of slavery when it was unlawful for slaves to learn to read and write. In pre-Civil War northern cities, free blacks were forced as children to walk long distances past white schools on their way to the one school relegated solely to them. Whether by laws, policies, or practices, racially separated schools remained the norm in America from the late nineteenth century well into our own time.
Throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century and continuing today, the crisis in black education has grown significantly in urban neighborhoods where public schools lack resources, endure overcrowding, exhibit a racial achievement gap, and confront policies that fail to deliver substantive opportunities. The touted benefits of education remain elusive to many blacks of all ages. Tragically, some poorly performing schools serve as pipelines to prison for youths.
Yet, African American history is rich in centuries-old efforts of resistance to this crisis: the slaves’ surreptitious endeavors to learn; the rise of black colleges and universities after the Civil War; unrelenting battles in the courts; the black history movement; the freedom schools of the 1960s; and local community-based academic and mentorship programs that inspire a love of learning and thirst for achievement. Addressing the crisis in black education should be considered one of the most important goals in America’s past, present, and future."
-ASALH Black History Month 2017 Executive Summary
UNCF, the National Urban League, and Education Post released “Building Better Narratives in Black Education,” a joint report published by UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, providing tangible approaches to shift the narrative concerning Black educational reform. The findings of the report aim to better engage communities around K-12 education and drive substantive policy changes for Black students.
What did my father mean to his black male students? Everything.
"His career spanned seven presidents, and his trademark 1970s Afro, already salt-and-pepper in his late 20s, had given way to a fully white, slightly thinning head of hair when he retired in the early 2000s. He continued to work part time in elementary and middle schools across Metro Detroit, and his presence as a black man remained an anomaly. Even now, when ethnic and racial minority students make up the majority of children in American public schools, black men are less than 2 percent of the teaching force, according to the U.S. Department of Education." Shannon Shelton Miller
"If we want black males to achieve at academics, we must encourage and support those yearnings as much as we do their athletic aspirations. We all must think more deeply about how societal perceptions of black males as “natural” athletes rather than intelligent students, adversely influences how educators view black males academically." Jerome E. Morris, Adeoye O. Adeyemo
The Road to Brown tells the story of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling as the culmination of a brilliant legal assault on segregation that launched the Civil Rights movement.
It is also a moving and long overdue tribute to a visionary but little known black lawyer, Charles Hamilton Houston, "the man who killed Jim Crow." The Road to Brown plunges us into the nightmare world of Jim Crow that robbed former slaves of the rights granted by the 14th and 15th Amendments. Under the "separate but equal" doctrine of the Supreme Court's 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, black citizens were denied the right to vote, to attend white schools, to get sick in white hospitals or to be buried in white cemeteries.
"It was 40 years ago today [November 19, 2013] that the Supreme Court accepted what became a landmark case about school desegregation. The case was controversial because it involved bussing student between a largely African-American city — Detroit — and its white suburban areas. The ruling helped cement differences between urban schools and suburban neighborhoods." Sarah Alvarez, NPR
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