The Blogalicious theme for the month of June is Mentorship. We love to use our platform to spotlight unknown bloggers and community leaders. Today we’d like to extend a warm welcome to Antonio Maurice Daniels of Revolutionary Paideia.
Black Male Underachievement Ends Where Mentoring Begins
Extensive published research evidences that Black male students academically underperform all of their peers throughout the educational pipeline, including higher education. The professional literature reveals that Black males are twice as more likely to be suspended from school than Whites. Although approximately 600,000 more Black males are in college than in jail, there must be significant improvement in the Black male school-to-prison pipeline. The Black male unemployment rate is 13.5%. The aforementioned realities are unsettling. Fortunately, if we muster the courage to tackle those realities, we can dramatically ameliorate postmodern conditions for Black males. While effective mentoring isn’t the panacea for the complex problems Black males confront, it can deliver impressive outcomes for them.
Imagine an America where every Black boy has an active mentor in his life—those aforementioned statistics wouldn’t exist. Unfortunately, too many young Black boys don’t have a father in their home and/or a father active in their lives. Mentors can help them academically, economically, socially and professionally. In the Black community, we need to establish partnerships and organizations committed to mentoring Black males. It’s time for Black people to invest in the communities in which they reside by working to advance young Black males. We cannot look to those outside of our community to solve the problems facing Black males; it’s up to us and we have what it takes.
If White males were experiencing the problems Black males are encountering, those problems would be declared national emergencies, and these emergencies would dominate the national discourse. The ingrained history of racism and discrimination Black people have endured and continue to suffer from doesn’t afford Black males the same privileges White males enjoy, however.
Let’s make effective mentoring a priority in our communities. Find a Black boy or Black man and mentor him. Don’t overlook anyone as a potential mentor. If we’re serious about Black male progression, we will make mentoring a priority in our community. Black men and women must work together to save young Black males from failure, despondency and destruction. We can do it—one Black boy and one community at a time.
Antonio Maurice Daniels is Ph.D. student and Research Associate in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He blogs regularly at Revolutionary Paideia and has extensively published in academic journals and popular online publications, including Soul Train, Mused Magazine, Up 4 Discussion, From Ashy to Classy, The Black Man Can and Healthy Black Men Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @paideiarebel.