ERIC Number: EJ1002457
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Reference Count: 4
Empowering Young Black Males
Kafele, Baruti K.
Educational Leadership, v70 n2 p67-70 Oct 2012
Of all the challenges we face in education today, the author can think of none greater than the challenge of motivating, educating, and empowering black male learners. The fact that this group of students is in crisis is evident on multiple levels, starting with graduation rates. According to the Schott Foundation (2008), the U.S. high school graduation rate for black males is just 47 percent, compared with 57 percent for Latino males and 75 percent for white males. The crisis doesn't begin when students drop out of school. In far too many cases, it begins before they even enter school. As they move through the grades, black male students as a group have low achievement levels, excessively high suspension and expulsion rates, and a disproportionate number of special education referrals (Kunjufu, 2005). As an education consultant, the author has frequent opportunities to talk with educators at all levels. A staggering number of elementary school teachers tell him they have run out of ideas on how to keep their black male students focused and inspired. Many teachers actually break down in tears during this conversation. They desperately want to help their black male students succeed, but they feel overwhelmed by the challenge. Although there are many strategies that good teachers of any gender and ethnicity can implement on a classroom level to support the success of black male students, the author believes that to maximize their classroom efforts, teachers must ensure that young black males have opportunities to learn from role models whom they can identify with. The best way of making this happen is to launch a Young Men's Empowerment Program, rooted in Power Mondays (which can actually occur any day of the week). The program works as effectively in racially diverse schools as it does in majority black schools. The message of self-respect is universal, so all students can benefit.
Descriptors: Low Achievement, Males, Graduation Rate, Hispanic American Students, Role Models, African American Students, Student Empowerment, White Students, Racial Differences, Achievement Gap, Disproportionate Representation, Teacher Role, High Schools
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A