The educational system is failing Black boys, and no Marvel superhero is coming to fix the problem. The answer lies in offering appropriately trained teachers and equitable educational options instead of limiting opportunities and possibilities for students of color.
As a parent of three children, including one son, I have witnessed Black boys start to lose interest in their studies in elementary school.
Years ago, I walked down the hall of my neighborhood Chicago public school, and outside one classroom sat a little boy on the floor. He had been kicked out of the classroom by his teacher and relegated to a space on the floor in the hallway. I don’t know how long he sat there, but I do know time spent in the hallway was time away from learning.
Author Jawanza Kunjufu in his book, Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys refers to the “fourth grade failure syndrome,” when Black boys begin to lose interest in school. Unfortunately, this may also be a time that schools, teachers and administrators also lose interest in Black boys. Forty percent of Black boys in urban public schools drop out of high school. Boys who drop out of school are more likely to enter the school-to-prison pipeline by becoming involved in criminal activity or simply being outside of supervised, structured environments that can help to shield them from crime and danger.
The recent video showing young Black elementary school students in Atlanta exuberantly dancing on tables after hearing they would be guests at a showing of the movie Black Panther is both an amusing distraction and a reminder of how we have failed Black boys in school and beyond. …read more