Tag Archives: African American

Racial education disparity: Florida program ‘Bridging the Gap’

24 Sep

Moi asked a tough question in In Hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success? Moi opined:
Jesse Washington of AP has written a comprehensive article which details the magnitude of the disaster which is occurring in the African-American community. In the article, Blacks Struggle With 72% Unwed Mother Rate which was reprinted at SeattlePI.Com Washington sounds an alarm which if you can’t hear it, makes you deaf.
This is not about racism or being elitist. This is about survival of an indigenous American culture. This is not about speaking the truth to power, it is about speaking the truth. The truth is children need two parents to help them develop properly and the majority of single parent headed families will live in poverty. Children from single parent homes have more difficult lives. So called “progressives” who want to make their “Sex and the City” life style choices the norm because they have a difficult time dealing with the emotional wreckage of their lives, need to shut-up when it comes to the survival of the African American community. This is an issue that the so called educated classes and religious communities have to get involved in.

Trip Gabriel reported about more fallout from the failure of the African-American family in the New York Times. In Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/education/09gap.html?emc=eta1&_r=0
Brian M. Rosenthal’s Seattle Times article reported about the achievement gap between native African-Americans and immigrant African ethnic groups in Seattle.

In the article, ‘Alarming’ new test-score gap discovered in Seattle schools, Rosenthal reported:

African-American students whose primary language is English perform significantly worse in math and reading than black students who speak another language at home — typically immigrants or refugees — according to new numbers released by Seattle Public Schools. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2017046660_newgap19m.html

This education achievement disparity is observed all over the country.

Cara Fitzpatrick reported in the Tampa Bay Times article, Pinellas unveils plan to boost academic performance for black students:

Superintendent Mike Grego quietly unveiled a sweeping new plan last week to combat one of the Pinellas County school system’s oldest and most pressing problems: the achievement gap between black students and their peers.
The plan, dubbed Bridging the Gap, calls for struggling black students to be monitored much more closely, pushing them into after-school and summer programs, meeting with their parents or guardians, pairing them with mentors, and making sure they have access in school to credit recovery classes.
Under the plan, all black students will be invited to take advanced classes and have access to preparation programs for college placement exams. Teachers, too, will be part of the plan’s focus, with an emphasis on learning “culturally responsive” instruction and practices.
Grego said many of the strategies aren’t new, but the district hasn’t been consistent, perhaps because of a revolving door of leaders at the top. Grego, who is nearing his first anniversary with the school district, is the third superintendent in three years.
He said the focus will be on closely tracking student data and repeatedly asking, “How are our African-American students doing?”
School officials also will be persistent in looking for community involvement. At Leila Davis Elementary, for instance, Grego said the principal was recruiting mentors from a nearby church to work with struggling black students.
Rene Flowers, the School Board’s only black member, acknowledged that parts of the plan are more “in your face” than what the school system has done previously, and some parents might not like it. But she said it should push students harder and keep better tabs on their academic performance, long-term goals and attendance — before a problem reaches critical levels.
“I think this monitoring will let us know as a district where our students are,” she said. “I’m all for it.”
Being “culturally responsive” could be as simple as knowing where students live and what their home lives are like, Flowers said.
“Maybe they have to deal with a parent who didn’t come home last night,” she said, adding that a teacher will then understand why a student looks “exhausted” in first period.
Bridging the Gap is Grego’s first major districtwide initiative aimed specifically at the academic achievement of black students, a persistent area of weakness in the school system.
Black students make up 19 percent of Pinellas’ enrollment, yet their academic outcomes are far worse than their peers. Black students also are doing worse in Pinellas than black students in other large, urban school districts, including Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
The statistics are startling.
Black males have Pinellas County’s lowest graduation rate, with 46 percent earning a diploma, compared to 73 percent of white males. More than 65 percent of white students were proficient in reading last school year, yet only 28 percent of black students were. Math scores were similarly far apart…http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/pinellas-unveils-plan-to-boost-academic-performance-for-black-students/2143172

Jennifer Aniston got into a flap about her opinion regarding single motherhood. As reported by the Celebitchy blog in the post, Bill O’Reilly Takes On Jennifer Aniston’s Pro-Single Mother Comments Aniston said:

“Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don’t have to settle with a man just to have that child. Times have changed and that is also what is amazing… that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents’ days when you can’t have children because you have waited too long. The point of the movie is what is it that defines family? It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie. It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is.”

See, Andrea Peyser’s Gals Being Lost in ‘No Man’ Land http://nypost.com/2010/08/23/gals-getting-lost-in-no-man-land/

The Washington Post article, Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-07-04/news/36816280_1_black-men-black-male-teachers-black-girls made moi think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero, Will Thomas.
The reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

Why does the culture think that the opinion of any celebrity should be valued above common sense? Celebrities will often repeat the mantra that they are not role models and really want to work on their art or their craft. But, many young people look up to these babbling heads as if they are an example of the best way to live. So, the question becomes how to give children the values that they might receive if they were in a healthy family. Youth Guidance attempts to meet that need with the “Becoming A Man” program.

Youth Guidance describes “Becoming a Man” (BAM):

Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. (Becoming A Man™) – Sports Edition is a school-based counseling, mentoring, violence prevention and educational enrichment program that promotes social, emotional and behavioral competencies in at-risk male youth. B.A.M – Sports Edition’s curriculum addresses six core values: integrity, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression, visionary goal-setting and respect for women, as each value relates to personal and academic success.
B.A.M. – Sports Edition addresses key challenges African-American and Latino youth confront daily in some of Chicago’s toughest communities.B.A.M. – Sports Edition focuses exclusively on males because they are vastly more likely than females to be either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. Youth Guidance’s Anthony DiVittorio, L.C.P.C. created B.A.M. in response to an observation that his male students often lacked physical and emotional access to their fathers or other positive male role models. DiVittorio designed the B.A.M. curriculum around an innovative application of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, resiliency theory and rites of passage “men’s work” that have been demonstrated to successfully help youth improve self-regulation, social skills, and interpersonal skills.B.A.M. is invested in helping youth improve life-long protective factors and reduce behavioral risk factors.
Over the course of 30 weekly sessions, B.A.M. – Sports Edition participants engage in developmentally-based lessons and challenges that promote their emotional literacy, impulse-control, social competence, positive peer relations and interpersonal problems-solving skills. B.A.M. – Sports Editionis designed to help students pass classes, reduce both in-school and out of school suspensions, reduce detentions, increase school attendance, reduce disciplinary problems, and support grade promotion.
Results of the study released in 2012 show that B.A.M. works and is cost-effective. Program participants saw a 10 percent increase in graduation rates, a reduction in failing grades by 37 percent, and a decrease in violent crime arrests by 44 percent. At a cost of $1,100 per participant, the Crime Lab estimates the social benefit/cost ratio to be at least 3:1 per participating youth.
“The University of Chicago Crime Lab study shows that Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. program reduces youth violence, increases school achievement and helps Chicago’s young men reach their full potential. ‘Becoming a Man’ helps young men find evidence of their worth, strengthen their connection to and success in school, and help build safer communities,” stated Youth Guidance’s CEO Michelle Morrison.
B.A.M.’s curriculum is built on six B.A.M. Core Values http://www.youth-guidance.org/here/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/B.A.M.-Core-Values.pdf

Here are the BAM Core Values:

1.INTEGRITY – is the core principle of the program. Students learn to identify and respect societal values and to conduct themselves in accordance with those values. Students learn that a man’s word should have meaning, and that a man’s integrity is dependent on keeping his word. Students learn that a man is someone who is reliable, honest and in touch with his integrity or lack thereof. He makes amends when he is out of integrity, and does what he says he is going to do.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY – Students learn that they should be responsible for the choices that they make and take ownership for their feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Students learn that a man does not project, or put blame onto others for the consequences of his own bad choices. A man can feel anger, sadness or fear, but he must own his reactions to those emotions.
3. SELF-DETERMINATION – is a learned skill, and practice begins in B.A.M. group. Students learn the importance of focus and perseverance in reaching one’s goals. Students learn to deal with self-defeating feelings, thoughts and behaviors that can become obstacles or barriers to goal-attainment. Students learn that self-doubt, uncertainty, and moments of weakness are natural when attempting to reach a goal.
4.POSITIVE ANGER EXPRESSION – is the most effective and remembered lesson taught in the program. Students learn that anger is a normal emotion that can be expressed in a constructive manner. This skill allows for the alleviation of angry feelings and becomes a bridge to goal attainment. Students learn anger management coping skills such as deep breathing exercises to elicit a relaxation response. Students learn effective techniques to express anger that avoid typical negative consequences (i.e. suspensions, arrests, damaged relationships, etc.).
5.VISIONARY GOAL SETTING – Students learn the difference between short-term and long-term goals and how to create realistic steps toward goal attainment. Students learn to envision their manhood in the future and to make clear connections between their current behaviors, attitudes and values and their vision. During this intense phase, students aim to get in touch with traumas, pains and faulty thinking that cause them to act in negative, destructive manners. They learn how to heal these parts of themselves and to use the energy toward attaining their vision. Not all students are ready for this phase of the program. However, it can be a life altering phase for those who are.
6. RESPECT FOR WOMANHOOD – Students go through three stages of learning. First, there are lectures and discussions around the history and contemporary roles that women have held in society. Students are challenged to take a critical look at which norms represent positive value and appreciation as opposed to depreciation, devaluing and oppression. Second, students learn concrete positive communication skills and begin using them during their interactions. As a result, students enter the final stage of training, wherein they increase their value and appreciation of womanhood.
B.A.M. – Sports Edition places special emphasis on issues surrounding respect and integrity. This value reinforces those important messages at a deeper level.

See, Therapy Helps Troubled Teens Rethink Crimehttp://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/07/02/188646607/therapy-helps-troubled-teens-rethink-crime?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of these children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis.

Related:
Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success?
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/hard-question-does-indigenous-african-american-culture-support-academic-success/

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The 07/05/13 Joy Jar

5 Jul

Moi say the movie ’42’tonight. It is the story of the great Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey The baseball executive who hired Robinson as baseball’s first major league African American player. Rickey was a man of faith and the movie didn’t gloss over that. Moi’s favorite quote from the movie as to why Rickey hired Robinson in particular was, ‘I’m a Methodist, He’s a Methodist, and God’s a Methodist.’ On this 4th of July weekend, moi salutes those with a conscience and the courage of their convictions. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are those individuals with conscience and courage.

“I don’t like the subtle infiltration of ‘something for nothing’ philosophies into the very hearthstone of the American family. I believe that ‘Thou shalt earn the bread by the sweat of thy face’ was a benediction and not a penalty. Work is the zest of life; there is joy in its pursuit.” Branch Rickey

Baseball Almanac has a great collection of quotes by and about Branch Rickey

Quotes From & About Branch Rickey
Quotes From Branch Rickey
“A great ballplayer is a player who will take a chance.” Source: Baseball Greatest Quotations (Paul Dickson, 1992)
“Baseball is a game of inches.” Source: Quote magazine (July 31, 1966 Issue)
“Baseball people, and that includes myself, are slow to change and accept new ideas. I remember that it took years to persuade them to put numbers on uniforms.”
“(Ty) Cobb lived off the field as though he wished to live forever. He lived on the field as though it was his last day.”
“Ethnic prejudice has no place in sports, and baseball must recognize that truth if it is to maintain stature as a national game.”
“Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mickey Mantle). Whatever the figure, it’s a deal.”
“He (Leo Durocher) had the ability of taking a bad situation and making it immediately worse.” Source: Baseball Greatest Quotations (Paul Dickson, 1992)
“He’s (Mickey Mantle) the best prospect I’ve ever seen.”
“How to use your leisure time is the biggest problem of a ballplayer.” Source: Baseball Greatest Quotations (Paul Dickson, 1992)
“I am alarmed at the subtle invasion of professional football, which is gaining preeminence over baseball. It’s unthinkable.” Source: New York Times (Arthur Daley, August 20, 1959)
“I did not mind the public criticism. That sort of thing has not changed any program I thought was good.”
“I don’t care if I was a ditch-digger at a dollar a day, I’d want to do my job better than the fellow next to me. I’d want to be the best at whatever I do.”
“I don’t like the subtle infiltration of ‘something for nothing’ philosophies into the very hearthstone of the American family. I believe that ‘Thou shalt earn the bread by the sweat of thy face’ was a benediction and not a penalty. Work is the zest of life; there is joy in its pursuit.”
“I find fault with my children because I like them and I want them to go places – uprightness and strength and courage and civil respect and anything that affects the probabilities of failure on the part of those that are closest to me, that concerns me – I find fault.”
“If things don’t come easy, there is no premium on effort. There should be joy in the chase, zest in the pursuit.”
“It (a baseball box score) doesn’t tell how big you are, what church you attend, what color you are, or how your father voted in the last election. It just tells what kind of baseball player you were on that particular day.” Source: I Never Had It Made (Jackie Robinson, 1997)
“It is not the honor that you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind.”
“Jackie (Robinson), we’ve got no army. There’s virtually nobody on our side. No owners, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I’m afraid that many fans will be hostile. We’ll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I’m doing this because you’re a great ballplayer, a fine gentleman.” Source: Giants of Baseball (Bill Gutman, 1991)
“Leisure is the handmaiden of the devil.”
“Let’s not get panicky.”
“Luck is the residue of design.” Source: New York Times (Arthur Daley, November 17, 1965)
“Man may penetrate the outer reaches of the universe, he may solve the very secret of eternity itself, but for me, the ultimate human experience is to witness the flawless execution of a hit-and-run.”
“Never surrender opportunity for security.”
“Only in baseball can a team player be a pure individualist first and a team player second, within the rules and spirit of the game.” Source: The American Diamond (Branch Rickey, 1965)
“Our pitching staff is a conspiracy of ifs.”
“Problems are the price you pay for progress.”
“The greatest untapped reservoir of raw material in the history of our game is the black race.” Source: AP Wire During the Signing of Jackie Robinson (1946)
“The man with the ball is responsible for what happens to the ball.”
“There was never a man in the game who could put mind and muscle together quicker and with better judgment than (Jackie) Robinson.”
“Thinking about the devil is worse than seeing the devil.”
“This ball—this symbol; is it worth a whole man’s life?” Source: Sports Illustrated (Gerald Holland, 11-71)
“Thou shalt not steal. I mean defensively. On offense, indeed thou shall steal and thou must.”
“Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.”
“When (Rube) Waddell had control and some sleep, he was unbeatable.”
Quotes About Branch Rickey
“I realized how much our relationship had deepened after I left baseball. It was that later relationship that made me feel almost as if I had lost my own father. Branch Rickey, especially after I was no longer in the sports spotlight, treated me like a son.” – Jackie Robinson in I Never Had it Made (Jackie Robinson, 1997)
“It was easy to figure our Mr. Rickey’s thinking about contracts. He had both players and money-and just didn’t like to see the two of them mix.” Chuck Connors in Baseball is a Funny Game (Joe Garagiola, 1960)
“I went into Mr. Rickey’s office and sat across the table from him. He told me he had scouts watching me for months. There was no question I could play. What he couldn’t tell was my habits. Did I drink? Did I run around with women? Would I embarrass the club with my conduct? That’s what they had to be sure of before they signed any Negro player.” – Roy Campanella in Bo: Pitching and Wooing (Maury Allen, 1973)
“Mr. Rickey had great insight into everyday life as well as baseball. In one of our player meetings he once said, ‘Never play checkers with a man who carries his own board.’ I never forgot it.” – Bob Purkey
“Mr. Rickey went out of his way to do so much to put blacks in the major leagues. he could tell you so many things, Mr. Rickey, just like my mother or father reading a book to me as a youngster. He made me a better catcher, a better person on and off the field. He made me a completely changed individual.” – Roy Campanella
“The scope of his thinking constantly surprised even those who knew him well…He relished digging into something and then sharing his insights with others. He was always lecturing, tutoring, motivating, cautioning, and inspiring.” – Grandson Branch B. Rickey
“The thing about him was that he was always doing something for someone else. I know, because he did so much for me.” – Jackie Robinson
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quobr.shtml

Boys of color: Resources from the Boys Initiative

6 Jul

Moi wrote in The teaching profession needs more males and teachers of color:

Moi believes that good and gifted teachers come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and both genders. Teachers are often role models and mentors which is why a diverse teaching profession is desirable. Huffington Post has the interesting article, Few Minority Teachers In Classrooms, Gap Attributed To Bias And Low Graduation Rates which discusses why there are fewer teachers of color in the profession.

Minority students will likely outnumber white students in the next decade or two, but the failure of the national teacher demographic to keep up with that trend is hurting minority students who tend to benefit from teachers with similar backgrounds.

Minority students make up more than 40 percent of the national public school population, while only 17 percent of the country’s teachers are minorities, according to a report released this week by the Center for American Progress….

In a second report, the CAP notes that in more than 40 percent of the nation’s public schools, there are no minority teachers at all. The dearth of diversity in the teaching force could show that fewer minorities are interested in teaching or that there are fewer minorities qualified to teach. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/few-minority-teachers-in-_n_1089020.html?ref=email_share

The lack of diversity in the teaching profession has been a subject of comment for years.

In 2004, the Council for Exceptional Children wrote in the article,New Report Says More Diverse Teachers Reduces the Achievement Gap for Students of Color:

Representation of Diverse Teachers in the Workforce

The number of diverse teachers does not represent the number of diverse students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2003):

·         In 2001-2002, 60 percent of public school students were White, 17 percent Black, 17 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native.

·         According to 2001 data, 90 percent of public school teachers were White, 6 percent Black, and fewer than 5 percent of other races.

·         Approximately 40 percent of schools had no teachers of color on staff….

The Impact of Diverse Teachers on Student Achievement
Increasing the percentage of diverse teachers not only impacts the social development of diverse students, it also is directly connected to closing the achievement gap of these students. Research shows that a number of significant school achievement markers are positively affected when diverse students are taught by diverse teachers, including attendance, disciplinary referrals, dropout rates, overall satisfaction with school, self-concept, cultural competence, and the students’ sense of the relevance of school. In addition, studies show that

o    Diverse students tend to have higher academic, personal, and social performance when taught by teachers from their own ethnic group.

o    Diverse teachers have demonstrated that when diverse students are taught with culturally responsive techniques and with content-specific approaches usually reserved for students with gifts and talents, their academic performance improves significantly.

o    Diverse teachers have higher performance expectations for students from their own ethnic group.

Other advantages of increasing the number of diverse teachers are: more diverse teachers would increase the number of role models for diverse students; provide opportunities for all students to learn about ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity; enrich diverse students learning; and serve as cultural brokers for students, other educators, and parents. http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=6240&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CAT=none

A diverse teaching corps is needed not only to mirror the society, but because the continuing family meltdown has broadened the duties of schools.https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/the-teaching-profession-needs-more-males-and-teachers-of-color/

There is an argument about the state of boys of color in this society. Many say the objective observable evidence points to a crisis.

Moi supports the Boys Initiative. Here is information about the Boys Initiative:

An increasing number of our boys and young men are not achieving to their full potential. The problem affects all of our boys and young men, regardless of race or ethnicity. While the problem is far more significant and chronic among minority youth, achievement also eludes white young men.

Besides young men themselves, this trend impacts their potential life partners, our communities, and our nation. The US and the world are becoming increasingly economically competitive. For the success of our society as well as our young men it is therefore essential that we begin to address this issue in a meaningful way. 

We launched The Boys Initiative to tackle this important issue. Because young men start out as boys, the Initiative is a national campaign to shed light on both boys’ underachievement and young men’s FAILURE TO LAUNCH.

The MISSION of the Initiative is to serve as a BIG TENT, to shed light on these trends, to foster dialogue and debate about them, and to collaborate on solutions with those who are committed to the futures of our nation’s youth.

Our goal is to be an INFORMATION AND ACTION HUB. We do this by partnering and building coalitions with organizations that represent the interests of girls and women, boys and men, parents and teachers and adolescent health care providers, among a host of other individuals, organizations and professionals devoted to the wellbeing of our nation’s youth. The Boys Initiative does not endorse or advocate for any particular point of view or proposed solution.

http://www.theboysinitiative.org/

Here is an example of the information available at their site:

Welcome toThe Minority Report, a publication ofMinority Male Youth 2005, a project of 

The Boys Initiative

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Promotes Racial Healing with New Online Documentary 

blackgivesback.com, June 29, 2012

Emotion Restriction and Discrimination Increase Depression in Minority Men
Rates of depression among African-American men are significantly lower than those found in African-American women, yet the suicide rates of African-American men are higher. This disparity caused Wizdom Powell Hammond, Ph.D., of the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of North Carolina to explore possible causes. Hammond recently conducted a study that looked at how adhering to masculine norms affected rates of depression among African-American men. Hammond wanted to determine if these men were underrepresented because they avoided help-seeking. Men who hold themselves to the masculine ideal of emotional restriction may internalize their feelings, especially feelings of stress, and avoid help-seeking for mental health issues such as depression.
Good Therapy, June 15, 2012

How Minority Millennials Are Driving Politics
Last Sunday, I was one of the estimated 40,000 people who attended a “silent march” in New York City organized by the NAACP to protest the New York Police Department’s “stop-and-frisk” policy, which disproportionately impacts black and Latino males. One young black woman marching directly in front of me was holding a sign that said, “silence is violence.” When I asked her what it meant, she said, “A lot of us have problems with the whole silent march thing. The problem is we have been silent too long.” It seemed she was not alone – there were other young blacks and Latinos who chafed at the request that they march in silence, chanting slogans like “New York cops, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.
Time, June 21, 2012

Guest Voz: Latino inmate sentenced as juvenile speaks out on Supreme Court’s life without parole for youth
Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion abolishing life without parole (LWOP) sentences for the 2,500 prisoners across the U.S. who were condemned to die in prison for crimes they were convicted of as juveniles. Courts will now have discretion to impose a lesser sentence in those cases and consider age as a factor in sentencing. Juveniles can receive LWOP sentences, however, it is a discretionary sentence now, not a mandatory sentence in cases involving homicide. Prisoners all ready serving LWOP sentences for crimes they were convicted of as juveniles are now eligible for resentencing. How that process occurs will vary by state.
Latina Lista, June 25, 2012

Near-Westside Indy mentorship program provides positive male role models

They come from different family backgrounds and neighborhoods, but on Friday nights at the Rhodius Park Family Center, about 30 teenage boys meet for a common goal: learning how to become responsible young men. The teens are part of Boys II Men, a mentorship program founded in 1995 by Lars “Edward” Rascoe III, a former teacher for Pike Township Schools and a school administrator for Eastern Star Jewel Christian Academy. The group connects students in Grades 7-9 with positive male role models and promotes civic engagement, academic achievement, personal responsibility and respect for women. To date, more than 2,500 young men have participated in Boys II Men.

Indy Star, June 25, 2012

High court ruling on juvenile life sentences offers thousands of inmates a chance at freedom 

The Supreme Court ruling that banned states from imposing mandatory life sentences on juveniles offers an unexpected chance at freedom to more than 2,000 inmates who had almost no hope they would ever get out.

In more than two dozen states, lawyers can now ask for new sentences. And judges will have discretion to look beyond the crime at other factors such as a prisoner’s age at the time of the offense, the person’s background and perhaps evidence that an inmate has changed while incarcerated.

The Washington Post, June 26, 2012

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act, A Boon To Minority Health In The U.S.

In a largely unexpected turn, the U.S. Supreme Court declared nearly the entire Affordable Care Act a constitutional and fully legal shift in the American health care system. The court’s decision will be dissected today by legal scholars, health care experts, sharp-tonged commentators and ordinary Americans. But what may not be so widely discussed or understood is the sweeping effect that the court’s decision will likely have on minority health in the United States, according to health care economists and policy analysts. That broad benefit to minorities is a point the Obama administration itself has made — though somewhat infrequently — and one that’s likely to be invoked more often after the favorable ruling, as the presidential election fight intensifies.

The Huffington Post, June 28, 2012

The Unfair Criminalization of Gay and Transgender Youth

Gay, transgender, and gender nonconforming youth are significantly over-represented in the juvenile justice system-approximately 300,000 gay and transgender youth are arrested and/or detained each year, of which more than 60 percent are black or Latino. Though gay and transgender youth represent just 5 percent to 7 percent of the nation’s overall youth population, they compose 13 percent to 15 percent of those currently in the juvenile justice system. These high rates of involvement in the juvenile justice system are a result of gay and transgender youth abandonment by their families and communities, and victimization in their schools-sad realities that place this group of young people at a heightened risk of entering the school-to-prison pipeline.

Center for American Progress, June 29, 2012

Lawmakers reach out to at-risk boys, men

At 15, Erik Montreal is a recovering alcoholic.

The Coachella Valley High School junior began to drink at 13, but now celebrates sobriety after receiving help from the Riverside County Latino Commission. On Friday, he shared his story of addiction and recovery before the California State Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, which held a four-hour hearing at Bobby Duke Middle School in Coachella.

Erik was one of about 24 speakers to share personal stories that emphasized the importance of support for minority men and boys who endure deteriorating schools, poor living conditions, violence and significant social prejudice.

My Desert, June 30, 2012

Anger runs deep over Supreme Court rejection of youth sentencing laws

Verle Mangum was 17 years old and high on methamphetamine when he took a baseball bat to a mother and her 11-year-old daughter after the mother caught him having sex with the daughter in her Clifton home. His sentence for their brutal murders was mandatory life in prison without parole. Mangum is 33 now. He had little hope of ever seeing the outside of prison walls, until a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week determined that his sentence, and those of 49 other prisoners in Colorado and about 2,600 across the country, is unconstitutional.

The ruling found that juveniles could not be sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole.

Denver Post, July 01, 2012.

Juvenile justice: Courts turn focus to rehabilitation

It might seem like a simple process: commit a crime, go to court, go to jail.

But what if the offender is just a kid?

For juvenile courts, they’re continually striking a balance between punishing offenders and trying help them through counseling and mentoring programs, said Doug Schonauer, Coshocton County Probate and Juvenile Court administrator.

Schonauer has worked for the juvenile court 19 years, and during that time, he’s noticed a shift toward rehabilitation rather than punishment, he said. Various studies have shown rehabilitation works better with youth than adults, so that has become the court’s focus, Schonauer said.

Coshocton Tribune, July 01, 2012      

Young Black Males’ Writing Workshop at UIC Spawns National Curricula  

A summer writing institute for adolescent black males based at the University of Illinois at Chicago is advancing literacy around the country through two curricula based on it. Scholastic, Inc. recently launched “On the Record,” a middle-school school curriculum by Alfred Tatum, director of the UIC Reading Clinic. Last year, Scholastic published Tatum’s “ID,” a writing curriculum for high school.

Tatum based both curricula on the principles of his African American Adolescent Male Summer Literacy Institute, featured last fall in a PBS special, “Too Important to Fail,” by journalist Tavis Smiley.

Newswise, July 07, 2012

5 Latino-Inspired Books for Boys 

NBC Latino, July 04, 2012

Young people of multiple disadvantaged groups face worse health due to more discrimination
An Indiana University study found that teens and young adults who are members of multiple minority or disadvantaged groups face more discrimination than their more privileged peers and, as a result, report worse mental and physical health.
Medical Press.

Related:

Is there a ‘model minority’ ??                                 https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

UN-traditional Father’s Day message: Don’t become a father unless you can make the commitment to YOUR child https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/un-traditional-fathers-day-message-dont-become-a-father-unless-you-can-make-the-commitment-to-your-child/

Study: The plight of African-American boys in Oakland, California                                                    https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/study-the-plight-of-african-american-boys-in-oakland-california/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Harlem movie and the hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success?

8 Jan

In Hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success? Moi opined:

Jesse Washington of AP has written a comprehensive article which details the magnitude of the disaster which is occurring in the African-American community. In the article, BlacksStruggle With 72% Unwed Mother Rate  which was reprinted at SeattlePI.Com Washington sounds an alarm which if you can’t hear it, makes you deaf.

This is not about racism or being elitist. This is about survival of an indigenous American culture. This is not about speaking the truth to power, it is about speaking the truth. The truth is children need two parents to help them develop properly and the majority of single parent headed families will live in poverty. Children from single parent homes have more difficult lives. So called “progressives” who want to make their “Sex and the City” life style choices the norm because they have a difficult time dealing with the emotional wreckage of their lives, need to shut-up when it comes to the survival of the African American community. This is an issue that the so called educated classes and religious communities have to get involved in.

Trip Gabriel reported about more fallout from the failure of the African-American family in the New York Times. In Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected 

Brian M. Rosenthal’s  Seattle Times article reports about the achievement gap between native African-Americans and immigrant African ethnic groups in Seattle.

In the article, ‘Alarming’ new test-score gap discovered in Seattle schools, Rosenthal reports:

African-American students whose primary language is English perform significantly worse in math and reading than black students who speak another language at home — typically immigrants or refugees — according to new numbers released by Seattle Public Schools.

This Washington Post article made me think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero. Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence

“I love teaching, and I feel like I am needed,” said Thomas, 33, of Bowie. “We need black male teachers in our classrooms because that is the closest connection we are able to make to children. It is critical for all students to see black men in the classrooms involved in trying to make sure they learn and enjoy being in school.”

The shortage of black male teachers compounds the difficulties that many African American boys face in school. About half of black male students do not complete high school in four years, statistics show. Black males also tend to score lower on standardized tests, take fewer Advanced Placement courses and are suspended and expelled at higher rates than other groups, officials said.

Educators said black male teachers expose students to black men as authority figures, help minority students feel that they belong, motivate black students to achieve, demonstrate positive male-female relationships to black girls and provide African American youths with role models and mentors.

The reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

Jennifer Aniston got into a flap about her opinion regarding single motherhood. As reported by the Celebitchy blog in the post, Bill O’Reilly Takes On Jennifer Aniston’s Pro-Single MotherComments Aniston said:

Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don’t have to settle with a man just to have that child. Times have changed and that is also what is amazing… that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents’ days when you can’t have children because you have waited too long. The point of the movie is what is it that defines family? It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie. It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is.

See, Andrea Peyser’s Gals Being Lost in ‘No Man’ Land

Children need role models of both genders to develop a healthy self-esteem.

Niesha Lofing of Mc Clatchy Newspapers has a wonderful article which was reprinted in the Seattle Times, Father-Son Bonding Key to Development The article begins with the story of Mike and Brandon Mc Nealy, a father and son who built their relationship by working on 1979 Lincoln Continental and then describes their road trip across the country to the 30 major league baseball stadiums. The article has some great advice on how dads can connect with kids:

Why does the culture think that the opinion of any celebrity should be valued above common sense? Celebrities will often repeat the mantra that they are not role models and really want to work on their art or their craft. But, many young people look up to these babbling heads as if they are an example of the best way to live. For most young folks, a more realistic picture of single motherhood can be found at MTV’s Teen Mom.

Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D. writes in the Psych Central article, Fathering in America: What’s A Father Supposed to Do?

What’s a Father To Do?

  • Embrace your responsibility. Once you are a father, you are a father for life. The knowledge of fatherhood changes a man. It can be a source of pride and maturity or a source of shame and regret. Even if you have good reasons for not being actively involved, acknowledging your paternity is a minimal gift you can provide to your child. With it come many legal, psychological, and financial benefits. If you want to be in your child’s life, it also protects your rights to have time with your child should you and the child’s mother have a falling out.

  • Be there. In study after study, kids consistently say they would like to have more time with their dads. Regardless of whether a dad shares a home with the children and their mother, the kids need dad time. Working together on a chore or simply hanging out can be as meaningful as attending events or having adventures. Kids want to know their fathers. Just as important, they want their fathers to know them.

  • Be there throughout their childhoods. There is no time in a child’s life that doesn’t count. Research has shown that even infants know and respond to their fathers differently than they do to their mothers. The bond you make with a baby sets the foundation for a lifetime. As the kids get older, they’ll need you in different ways but they will always need you. Insistent toddler, curious preschooler, growing child, prickly adolescent: Each age and stage will have its challenges and rewards. Kids whose parents let them know that they are worth their parents’ time and attention are kids who grow up healthy and strong. Boys and girls who grow up with attention and approval from their dads as well as their moms tend to be more successful in life.

  • Respond to the needs of the kids, not your relationship with their mother. Regardless of whether you are getting along with your girlfriend or wife (present or ex), your relationship with the kids is exactly that: your relationship with the kids. The kids need predictability. They need care. They need a loving relationship with you. They need whatever financial support you can provide. None of these things should depend on whether you’ve had a disagreement or fight with their mom. None of these things should ever be withheld as a way to get even with her.

  • Be in a respectful and appreciative relationship with their mother. Being a good dad is certainly possible both inside and outside of marriage. Regardless of whether you and their mom can work out how to be a committed couple, you can support each other as parents. Kids grow best when their parents treat each other with respect and appreciation. The kids then don’t feel torn between the two people they love.

  • Do your financial share. Kids need to be fed, clothed, housed, and cared for. Children whose parents provide for them live better lives, feel valued, and have better relationships with both their parents. They need the role model of a responsible male acting responsibly. Just as they need you to be present in their lives, regardless of whether you live with their mom, they also need you to live up to financial obligations to the very best of your ability.

  • Balance discipline with fun. Some dads make the mistake of being only the disciplinarian. The kids grow up afraid of their dads and unable to see the man behind the rules. An equal and opposite mistake is being so focused on fun that you become one of the kids, leaving their mother always to be the heavy. Kids need to have fathers who know both how to set reasonable, firm limits and how to relax and have a good time. Give yourself and the kids the stability that comes with clear limits and the good memories that come with play.

  • Be a role model of adult manhood. Both boys and girls need you as a role model for what it means to be adult and male. Make no mistake: The kids are observing you every minute. They are taking in how you treat others, how you manage stress and frustrations, how you fulfill your obligations, and whether you carry yourself with dignity. Consciously or not, the boys will become like you. The girls will look for a man very much like you. Give them an idea of manhood (and relationships) you can be proud of….

Michael J. Feeney writes a jaw-dropping article in the New York Daily News,Baby-faced Harlem teens starring in controversial new film shot uptown; anti-violence advocates threaten boycott: Film shot in the neighborhood features kid actors toting guns:

The streets of Harlem are being run by baby-faced gun-toting kids who aren’t afraid to pull the trigger and leave a bloody trail of bodies in a new independent film that’s quickly making the rounds uptown.

There’s wild shoot outs, drugs and sex in “Toddlers” – shot in Harlem using neighborhood kids as young as 12 making their acting debut.

The DVD, released last month, has anti-violence activists charging the movie glorifies guns. They’re thinking about boycotting the video store selling the film.

Director Termaine (M5) Brown insisted he’s not promoting gun violence, just showing a harsh reality.

“That’s what’s going on, I’m just showing it,” Brown told the Daily News. “You hear about these murders, but people don’t see how it happens. I show how these incidents happen. These are real life situations.

“The parents don’t get to see what these kids are really doing,” said Brown, 29, who was raised in Harlem and shot many scenes on W. 147th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam two summers ago.

The DVD cover features a chubby-cheeked kid holding a gun. In the one-minute trailer, posted on YouTube, kids are brandishing guns; a girl is kidnapped by thugs and a man is shot in the head.

In “Toddlers,” the lead character Pito, played by Jordan Pena, 14 at the time, turns to a life of guns and drugs after his drug dealer father is killed .

Pito, once a promising baseball player, purchases guns with his newfound drug money. He and his friends gun down anyone who gets in their way.

Pena, who said his first-time in front of the camera was a “great experience,” insisted the movie doesn’t promote violence.

“It promotes how to turn into a man; how to take care of a family,” said Pena, now 16. “It promotes how life is out here. It’s definitely reality.”

He said playing the role of Pito wasn’t hard for him.

“It was basically me acting like myself. It wasn’t hard at all. This was like playing my life,” said Pena, who now wants to continue acting. “I was proud of myself for finishing the movie.”

He said his parents and grandmother were also proud of him for doing something “positive….
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/baby-faced-harlem-teens-starring-controversial-film-shot-uptown-anti-violence-advocates-threaten-boycott-article-1.1001571#ixzz1iu7OT3R0

Children, especially boys, need positive male role models. They don’t need another “uncle” or “fiancée” who when the chips are down cashes out. By the way, what is the new definition of “fiancée?” Is that someone who is rented for an indefinite term to introduce the kids from your last “fiancée” to?

Back in the day, “fiancée” meant one was engaged to be married, got married and then had kids. Nowadays, it means some one who hangs around for an indeterminate period of time and who may or may not formalize a relationship with baby mama. Kids don’t need someone in their lives who has as a relationship strategy only dating women with children because they are available and probably desperate. What children, especially boys, need are men who are consistently there for them, who model good behavior and values, and who consistently care for loved ones. They don’t need men who have checked out of building relationships and those who are nothing more than sperm donors.

See:

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success?

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/hard-question-does-indigenous-african-american-culture-support-academic-success/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Hard question: Does indigenous African-American culture support academic success?

19 Dec

Jesse Washington of AP has written a comprehensive article which details the magnitude of the disaster which is occurring in the African-American community. In the article, Blacks Struggle With 72% Unwed Mother Rate  which was reprinted at SeattlePI.Com Washington sounds an alarm which if you can’t hear it, makes you deaf.

This is not about racism or being elitist. This is about survival of an indigenous American culture. This is not about speaking the truth to power, it is about speaking the truth. The truth is children need two parents to help them develop properly and the majority of single parent headed families will live in poverty. Children from single parent homes have more difficult lives. So called “progressives” who want to make their “Sex and the City” life style choices the norm because they have a difficult time dealing with the emotional wreckage of their lives, need to shut-up when it comes to the survival of the African American community. This is an issue that the so called educated classes and religious communities have to get involved in.

Trip Gabriel reported about more fallout from the failure of the African-American family in the New York Times. In Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected  Gabriel reports:

An achievement gap separating black from white students has long been documented — a social divide extremely vexing to policy makers and the target of one blast of school reform after another.

But a new report focusing on black males suggests that the picture is even bleaker than generally known.

Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.

Poverty alone does not seem to explain the differences: poor white boys do just as well as African-American boys who do not live in poverty, measured by whether they qualify for subsidized school lunches.

The data was distilled from highly respected national math and reading tests, known as the National Assessment for Educational Progress, which are given to students in fourth and eighth grades, most recently in 2009. The report, “A Call for Change,” is to be released Tuesday by the Council of the Great City Schools, an advocacy group for urban public schools…

The search for explanations has recently looked at causes besides poverty, and this report may further spur those efforts.

There’s accumulating evidence that there are racial differences in what kids experience before the first day of kindergarten,” said Ronald Ferguson, director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard. “They have to do with a lot of sociological and historical forces. In order to address those, we have to be able to have conversations that people are unwilling to have.”

Brian M. Rosenthal’s  Seattle Times article reports about the achievement gap between native African-Americans and immigrant African ethnic groups in Seattle.

In the article, ‘Alarming’ new test-score gap discovered in Seattle schools, Rosenthal reports:

African-American students whose primary language is English perform significantly worse in math and reading than black students who speak another language at home — typically immigrants or refugees — according to new numbers released by Seattle Public Schools.

District officials, who presented the finding at a recent community meeting at Rainier Beach High School, noted the results come with caveats, but called the potential trend troubling and pledged to study what might be causing it.

Michael Tolley, an executive director overseeing Southeast Seattle schools, said at the meeting that the data exposed a new achievement gap that is “extremely, extremely alarming.”

The administration has for years analyzed test scores by race. It has never before broken down student-achievement data by specific home language or country of origin — it is rare for school districts to examine test scores at that level — but it is unlikely that the phenomenon the data suggest is actually new.

In fact, some national experts said the trend represented by the Seattle data is not surprising. They pointed to some studies about college attendance and achievement indicating that immigrant families from all backgrounds tend to put a larger emphasis on education than those families that have been in the country longer.

Traditional factors in low performance, such as poverty and single-parent homes, are generally shared by black immigrants and nonimmigrants alike….

The results, although preliminary, were eye-opening:

Only 36 percent of black students who speak English at home passed their grade’s math test, while 47 percent of Somali-speaking students passed. Other black ethnic groups did even better, although still lower than the district average of 70 percent.

In reading, 56 percent of black students who speak English passed, while 67 percent of Somali-speaking students passed. Again, other black ethnic groups did better, though still lower than the district average of 78 percent.

The numbers do have significant limitations, Teoh said. That’s because they are based on home-language information that is entirely self-reported, and the data exclude English Language Learners — an optional program for students who score poorly on an English proficiency test.

Most of all, Teoh said, because the English-speaking category includes students of many black ethnic groups, it’s impossible to compare specific ethnic groups.

At the recent community meeting, much of that distinction was lost on the parents in the audience.

“It’s very alarming that students that were born right here are at the bottom of the barrel,” said Vallerie Fisher, whose daughter is a senior at Rainier Beach. “How is that possible?”

Immigrant experience

The answer to that question may lie in the culture of immigrant families, national education experts said.

Many of those families, who often were relatively wealthy and well-educated in their home countries, have strong social-support systems that emphasize education, said Mike Petrilli, the executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Pamela Bennett, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, agreed. She conducted a study in 2009 that found that immigrant black high-school graduates attend college at a much higher rate than black or white students born in the U.S. The reason was that the immigrants had a higher socioeconomic background, she said.

But that explanation may falter when Seattle’s Somali population is considered.

Many of the Somalis, after all, did not follow a normal pattern of immigration. Their families came to the U.S. to escape their war-torn country, many by way of refugee camps. But they still did better than English-speaking African Americans on the tests.

Veronica Gallardo, the director of international programs for Seattle Public Schools, speculated that the trauma experienced by Somali families causes them to value the opportunity education provides. In addition, Somali community groups tend to prioritize education, said Alexandra Blum, who works with the Somali Community Services Coalition, a nonprofit that works to empower families in King County.

Seattle School Board member Betty Patu, who has worked for decades with community groups serving students of color, said she has noticed that all immigrant families, regardless of socioeconomic status, place high value on education. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017046660_newgap19m.html

If you are a young unmarried woman of any color, you probably do not have the resources either emotional or financial to parent a child(ren). If you don’t care about your future, care about the future of your child. If you want to sleep with everything that has a pulse, that is your choice. BUT, you have no right to choose a life of poverty and misery for a child. As for those so called “progressives?” Just shut-up.

There are some very uncomfortable conversations ahead for the African-American community about the high rate of unwed mothers, about the care of women during pregnancy, and about early childhood education in the homes of children.Most important, about the lack the active involvement of fathers of some children.

Time to start talking. The conversation is not going to get any less difficult.

See:

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Hard truths: The failure of the family

6 Nov

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of Katrina, the real genocide is self-inflicted.

One of the mantras of this blog is that education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be involved. 

Christine Mac Donald is reporting in the Detroit News, Worthy Proposes jail For Parents Who Skip Kids’ Conferences    Now, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Detroit Public Schools have come up with a department store “rewards program” to get parents to participate in their children’s lives. Peggy Walsh-Sarecki reports about the program in the article, DPS Has Perks For Parents

Jesse Washington of AP wrote a comprehensive article which details the magnitude of the disaster which is occurring in the African American community. In the article, Blacks Struggle With 72% Unwed Mother Rate Washington sounds an alarm which if you can’t hear it, makes you deaf.

This is not about racism or being elitist. This is about survival of an indigenous American culture. This is not about “speaking the truth to power,” it is about speaking the truth. The truth is children need two parents to help them develop properly and the majority of single parent headed families will live in poverty. Children from single parent homes have more difficult lives. So called “progressives” who want to make their “Sex and the City” life style choices the norm because they have a difficult time dealing with the emotional wreckage of their lives, need to shut-up when it comes to the survival of the African American community. This is an issue that the so called educated classes and religious communities have to get involved in.

Trip Gabriel reported about more fallout from the failure of the African American family in the New York Times. In Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected Gabriel goes on to describe the situation:

An achievement gap separating black from white students has long been documented — a social divide extremely vexing to policy makers and the target of one blast of school reform after another.

But a new report focusing on black males suggests that the picture is even bleaker than generally known.

Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys….

This next comment is in no way PC. Prosecutor Worthy is correct that parents MUST be involved in the lives of their children. Problem is, jailing them will not force the majority of them into meaningful involvement and interaction with their child. Society has a couple of options to counter the “it’s my life and I’ll do what I want” philosophy. The first is discouraging and condemning out-of –wedlock births, particularly among low-income women. Too bad the First Lady doesn’t want to take this one on. The second thing is to intervene early and terminate the rights of negligent and abusive parents, freeing children up for adoption earlier. Finally, this society needs to support adoptive parents with financial and counseling resources. Not PC, but there it is.

Michael J. Petrilli writes in the article, We Have a Parenting Problem, Not a Poverty Problem at Huffington Post what moi has been saying for years and years:

So let’s get specific: What can parents do to increase the chances of their children doing well in school? Let’s just start with the zero-to-five years.

  1. Wait until you’ve graduated from high school and you’re married to have children.
  2. Stay married.
  3. Don’t drink or smoke when you’re pregnant.
  4. Get regular pre-natal check-ups.
  5. Nurse your baby instead of using a bottle.
  6. Talk and sing to your baby a lot.
  7. As you child grows, be firm but loving.
  8. Limit TV-watching, especially in the early years.
  9. Spark your child’s curiosity by taking field trips to parks, museums, nature centers, etc.
  10. Read, baby, read.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-j-petrilli/parenting-education_b_1076064.html?ref=education

If you are a young unmarried woman of any color, you probably do not have the resources either emotional or financial to parent a child(ren). If you don’t care about your future, care about the future of your child. If you want to sleep with everything that has a pulse, that is your choice. BUT, you have no right to choose a life of poverty and misery and misery for a child. As for those so called “progressives?” Just shut-up.

Michael Jackson said it best with the lyrics to Man in the Mirror

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Who owns “Black”

23 Oct

Really, is anyone other than Tavis Smiley talking about poverty in America? See, the Poverty Tour  http://www.povertytour.smileyandwest.com/   Even President Obama only started saying Amen while he attempts to co-opt “Occupy Wall Street” in his bid to stay in the White House. The War on Poverty which was launched in 1964 has failed miserably. Here are some stats from the National Poverty Center:

Poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics greatly exceed the national average. In 2010, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were poor, compared to 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 12.1 percent of Asians.

Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are black or Hispanic. In 2010, 31.6 percent of households headed by single women were poor, while 15.8 percent of households headed by single men and 6.2 percent of married-couple households lived in poverty.    http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/

According to the National Poverty Center, the poverty rates for children are staggering:

Children Under 18 Living in Poverty, 2010

Category

Number (in thousands)

Percent

All children under 18

16, 401

22.0

White only, non-Hispanic

5,002

12.4

Black

4,817

38.2

Hispanic

6,110

35.0

Asian

547

13.6

 So moi was a bit surprised to read two recent articles which aimed their venom directly at GOP candidate, Herman Cain. Sandhya Somashekhar, writes in the Washington Post  article, For Herman Cain, no steering clear of race:    

Some African Americans have bristled at his tone, saying he is denigrating his race. Particularly controversial were his statements that many blacks were “brainwashed” into supporting the Democratic Party and that he did not believe that racism in this country still “holds anybody back in a big way.” 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-herman-cain-no-steering-clear-of-race/2011/10/17/gIQAdNkN4L_story.html

Still another article by Touré at Time blogs states, Is Herman Cain the Most Unctuous Black Man Alive? Why the Hermanator experience is making me sick.  http://ideas.time.com/2011/10/20/is-herman-cain-the-most-unctuous-black-man-alive/

What exactly is the hub bub about? For many years pols and others went to an anointed few to find out exactly what Black folks were thinking. There were always the Jacksons and the Sharptons that told folks what Black folks were thinking and told Black folks how they were supposed to vote. This system delivered big for establishment pols. Question? Given the stats from the National Center on Poverty, how’s that system been working for you, for me, or for anyone for that matter? One does not have to agree with Herman Cain to say that he has as much right as anyone to advance his ideas and question the status quo.

So, who owns “Black?” No one. No group. Just as those who acknowledge their African roots may have skin tones which range from ivory to ebony, yet all claim to be Black.  Black folks can have opinions which range from Tea Party to let’s tear this “mother” down.

All are Black with reason to be proud of a common heritage.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©