Friday, October 19, 2018


Why It Is Crucial For Black Men To Become Teachers.

July 23, 2018 by  
Filed under Education, News, Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) There is quite possibly no more controversial statement that can be made inside of a classroom than the following one. The worst thing to ever occur to black education was the movement to integrate American schools via the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

The vast majority of students are shocked to hear an educator support the startling commentary that others such as Malcolm X issued as cautionary warning to Civil Rights leaders who were hell-bent on integrating with white ‘by any means necessary.’ Most Americans are shocked to learn that when the Brown decision was handed down that the following facts were true about the American education system.

  • Black teachers were more experienced than their white counterparts.

  • Black teachers were better educated than their white counterparts.

  • Black schoolchildren excelled at a level that today’s black schoolchildren do not match.

The prowess of black teachers teaching in segregated schools should be applauded as they accomplished this impressive feat with subpar facilities and materials. In fact, it was black teachers’ ability to teach under such conditions that the majority of blacks hoped that the U.S. Supreme Court would side with them by foregoing orders for schools to integrate and instead order that the 1896 Plessy decision that created the “separate but equal” edict be truly honored as the rule of Law. Alas, Black America would not be so fortunate.

The consequences of Brown were swift, harsh, and irreversible for black education. Consider for a moment that in the year that Brownwas handed down there were 82,000 black teachers in the U.S. public school system. During the following decade, nearly half of those educators would disappear.

The alluded to disappearance is collateral damage flowing from theBrown decision. Civil Rights leaders who were desperately pursuing the integration of the public school system apparently did not possess the foresight to realize that many of the all-black schools situated in the heart of Black America would be closed. With the benefit of hindsight, it is now obvious that Black education never recovered from this colossal loss.

It is this unfortunate miscalculation that explains recently released research data indicating that only 2% of U.S. schoolteachers are black men. The absence of black males from K-16 classrooms serves as one of the most deep-rooted reasons that black boys have consistently lagged behind all others in their academic pursuits.

I am absolutely certain that the above assertion causes a natural rise in trepidation, if not outright hostility, among non-black educators who teach black males on an annual basis. Rest assured that my assertion is backed by a host of not only colloquial observations from seasoned school administrators and teachers, but also a host of research studies that leave no doubt that something unique occurs when black males are taught by black men.

Although many may consider the following as a slight against non-black educators, decades of teaching experience at the collegiate level has caused me to conclude that famed educator Jawanza Kunjufu is correct in his assertion that the foremost factor in the success of students are the expectations of the teacher instructing them.

Consider for a moment a prior discussion that I had with a colleague whom I must add that I do respect on several levels. It became apparent during a simple discussion regarding how we “size up” a new cadre of students that we were seeking to accomplish two drastically different things. My colleague, a white male whose teaching methods are apparently enchanting to his black students, shared that “I am trying to see if they are able to handle the workload that I am going to put on them. What are you looking for?” My answer that “I am looking for a younger version of me” intrigued my colleague.

I am confident that the vast majority of black educators who possess a vested-interest in the future fortunes of their students do not need any explanation regarding my answer. However, for those who do not understand what I meant with the answer of “I am looking for a younger version of me,” I offer the following explanation with the hope that it will aid many who fail to see the importance of having black male teachers in front of black students understand why black men consider this situation so critically important to our existence.

Most black educators have been groomed by mentors to “keep the pipeline of educated blacks flowing” by any means necessary. There is consensual agreement among black educators that we must put forth every effort in “recreating ourselves” by identifying brilliant black students who possess the correct temperament, intellectual curiosity, and ability to be taught that some mentor recognized in us. It is a foregone conclusion within Black America that “we must create our own” in an effort to not only ensure the continuing existence of Black America, but also toward liberating it from the pernicious social evils that routinely ensnare our kind.

When one considers the familiar complaint of black women regarding the absence of single black male suitors for them to select. What they are actually saying is that there is a dearth of black men who are able to financially support a family. The reasons for this situation are far too numerous to discuss in this space, however, one of the commonalities found among black men who have been ejected from the marriageable pool is the absence of an education or training that provides them a route to securing necessary monies.

Research studies have repeatedly highlighted that black boys usually begin to fall behind their peers by the third-grade, a lagging that most never recover from. It is obvious that what has been previously attempted has missed the mark in an unbelievable manner, so it stands to reason that it is time that we do something drastically different and honor Frederick Douglass’ timeless assertion that “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

The path forward is unusually simple, it is time black men realized that we are all inextricably linked. Such a realization would hopefully facilitate their by-passing more lucrative financial opportunities and yielding to an innate desire to aid young black boys in American classrooms. Make no mistake about it, this is an emergency call to save both black males and Black America.

The above call is aimed at black men who need to realize that this issue will never go away until they make it go away by turning their focus to uplifting their brethren by any means necessary, including becoming teachers who make material sacrifices for the sake of Black America’s common good. In many ways it is ironic that successful black men are faced with the same dilemma that white southerners faced in the late 19th-Century. It is this dilemma of realizing that “a rising tide raises all boats” reminded former slaveholding whites in his “Atlanta Compromise” speech. Washington laid the referenced dilemma at the feet of white southerners in the following manner.

Nearly sixteen millions of hands will aid you in pulling the load upward, or they will pull against you the load downward. We shall constitute one-third and more of the ignorance and crime of the South, or one-third [of] its intelligence and progress; we shall contribute one-third to the business and industrial prosperity of the South, or we shall prove a veritable body of death, stagnating, depressing, retarding every effort to advance the body politic.

Such is the dilemma facing black men who realize that no one is coming to save their brethren. They can either come to aid their brothers while they are engaged in the educational process by becoming educators or they can continue to live what can be only termed, tenuous lives that are marginalized by their association with “a veritable body of death, stagnating, depressing, retarding every effort to advance…” Black America.

The choice is yours, choose wisely.

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

Official website; http://www.ManhoodRaceCulture.com

One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones.


Comments

4 Responses to “Why It Is Crucial For Black Men To Become Teachers.”
  1. Pelvo White, Jr. says:

    As a retired male African American educator I think that one of the reasons we need black men teaching in classrooms is to prove to all of the students that we can in fact teach the lessons to be taught presented using western world conceptual pedagogy. Black men have been seriously mis-represented as heads of households and as men capable of teaching and leading. The primary stereotype for a teacher is a female not a male, white skinned not black. Many black children dis-respect black male teachers because many of us do not have a controlling interest in the political powers that be and were not a significant presence in their homes and or their lives. They therefore learn from mother rather than father.The trust factor for the black man just isn’t there.The wisdom and knowledge imparted by western world pedagogy is not that of Africa. Many of our conflicted children struggle against western world pedagogy instead of embracing it. Many of our black teachers also haven’t embraced western world conceptual pedagogy and are also conflicted.Black men must professionally take to heart the fact that they will be teaching using the white man’s western world conceptual pedagogy. The truth of is if black men are educated enough to learn and teach from western world conceptual pedagogy. I think that we can but there must be great effort on our part.

  2. Arthur says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that I am an educator who has been reading and profiting from the series of articles you are posting on thyblackman.

  3. Trevo Craw says:

    HERE IS AN URGENT TEACHING MOMENT:

    Mary McCloud Bethune, Adam Clayton Powell Sr. and W.E.B. Dubois were traitors to the African American community. They brought in genocidal Eugenics from Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood, promoter of the Master Race and follower of Hitler). These traitors were not heroes. Their efforts persuaded our people to accept Planned Parenthood. Today Abortion is the number one killer of African American people – more than Cancer, AIDS, black on black crime, recent wars and police brutality combined. WAKE UP PEOPLE. No more lies and Cointel Pro traitors.

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