Ivory Toldson Taking the Lead in Educating Black Students | Harbari Gani, America!

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson declares himself the “myth buster” when it comes to researching the implications of racial biases on the education system serving Black students. He supports this claim by debunking well-worn biases and treading new ground that few within that system approach for solutions.

Black students are the most challenged population in America’s education system. They are examined through a kaleidoscope of negative stereotypes accumulated over 400 years and are fortunate to have a champion like Ivory Toldson, former Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Howard University Professor changing the tides.

In his new position as President and CEO of the Quality Education for Minorities network, Toldson will have the opportunity to expand his research, providing educators across the nation with resources to strengthen minority education goals.

As a newly free agent, Toldson stretches his wings serving as the keynote speaker for the National Education Association Conference on Minorities and Women’s Conference on Racial Justice and Education, Closing Plenary. Toldson understands present research processes and practices are made toxic by societal and personal biases, but he offered jewels enabling educators and administrators to reached beyond these borders with his “10 myth busters” for your edification below. He says,

“…these are what I call the 10 biggest lies that I hear about young, black males. And the reason why it is important to understand that they are lies is because these are often used as the excuse for why certain people in our field aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do for our children.

Number 1 — There are more Black men in prison than in college.

  • In fact, right now there are more than 600,000 more black men in college than in prison.

Number 2 — 50% of Black boys dropout.

  • Most people believe that because of their interpretation of some very popular reports, including the Shot Foundation‘s report with a looked at graduation rates and not dropout rates. You have to understand the difference between graduation rates and dropout rates in order to interpret that report responsibly, but the true dropout rate among black males as characterized by the National Center For Educational Statistics is right around 12%. Now, that is nothing to clap about, but when we look at a room full of Black males and we think that one of them are going to drop out, that is not the type of perspective or mentality we want our teachers to go into the classroom with.

Number 3 — Black boys can’t read.

  • Now, most people are identified as non-readers because of our standardized tests. There are all kinds of reasons why a student who may be able to read functionally won’t do well on a standardized test, and if we don’t understand those reasons and just use these blanket indicators from the NAEP exam to say what percent are not proficient, and then interpret proficiency as their lack of an ability to do the things we need them to do in the school, then we are not going to exercise the best practices when we work with the students.

Number 4 — Black youth of today are more violent than any generation in history.

  • When in fact, crime among Black youth escalated in the 80’s, reached its peak by the mid-1990’s, has been going down since the late-1990’s, and this is generation of youth is the least violent of any generation of youth since before the 1960’s.

Number 5 — One in three Black boys will serve time in prison.

  • In fact, most of the reports that have claimed this have never looked at Blackmales as they exist right now. They use projections. The article that most people cite or the study that most people cite is by someone named Thomas P. Bonczar that did something called the “Double-Decrement Life Table” that looked at the year someone was born and then projected their odds of going to prison. He did this report over 10 years ago, and the only group of cohorts that had a one in three chance were those who were born a year before he wrote the report.
  • So, in other words, he was looking at 2-year-olds and saying they would have a one in three chance of going to prison based on what he thought would be an escalation in the crime rate, not a de-escalation, which is what we actually got.

Number 6 — Black boys are at a natural disadvantage because most are from single-parent households.

  • I have written two articles in this regard, but the summary of those articles is it doesn’t matter the composition of your household. It matters who your parents are. It matters the value they place on education, their engagement with the school, the socialization of their child to the academic environment,and it has nothing to do with who is in their bed.

Number 7 — Black students purposely underachieve because they associate being smart with acting white.

  • Now, there is a lot I can say about that, but I have written an article on it. You can see the evidence. That is not true. And in fact, among Black girls, most of the strongest surveys show that Black girls actually have the highest regard for education than any other group of students out there. And in fact, there is a lesser known function that has been constantly found in the literature, and that is called the “Attitude Achievement Paradox.” That is the fact that in most survey research Black students actually show a higher attitude about the abstract notion of education, but their achievement is not measuring up to that.

Number 8, Black males are avoiding the teaching profession.

  • Again, I have written an article about all of these. You will get the link soon. When you look at young, Black males who are college-educated, teaching is actually the number one profession. So you ask, why is it less than 2%? That is because we are only 5.5% of the population. Of that 5.5%, only 17% have at least a bachelor’s degree, and among those who go on to get their degrees in education — and this is a little-known fact, but it is in the report that I have written — Black males are more likely than any other race group to be promoted out of the classroom into administration.

Number 9 — Black men are underrepresented at institutions of higher education.

  • The nation has 12.7 million Black men who are 18 years and older, and we make up about 5.5% of the adult population, and 5% of those who are in college. Where we are underrepresented is the most competitive colleges. So, those colleges with selective admissions criteria have an underrepresentation of Black students. And those that have open admissions criteria, like community colleges, have an overrepresentation of Black students. And that is largely because a lot of the factors these students talked about earlier, especially a young lady who says she was advised to go to a community college when she clearly had the academic credentials to go to Michigan State.

Finally, Black men are a dying breed.

  • Now, one of the things we have to understand is that when we are in a nation that only refers — only uses the terms breeds, endangered, and species for black men and animals, then that is a problem. But in fact, black men have an increasing representation in the population. Our numbers are growing. White males, their numbers are decreasing. Now that doesn’t mean either one is in danger. But when all we are doing is using these types of terms to deal with humans, then we are dehumanizing them. “

~ Conference on Racial Justice and Education, Closing Plenary (Video)
More on Ivory Toldson Leaving White House Initiative on HBCUs Post – Higher Education

How Jesse Williams Stole BET Awards With Speech on Racism | The New York Times

The most talked about experience Post-BET Awards 2016 is Jesse Williams acceptance speech for the Humanitarian Award. Black America will never forget this one.

The BET Awards Sunday featured tributes to Prince and Muhammad Ali, and a performance by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. But this year, the actor Jesse Williams commanded the spotlight with an impassioned speech calling for an end to police killings, racial inequality and cultural appropriation.

Please click here to view Jesse Williams’s speech in its entirety: JW BET Awards 2016

Source: How Jesse Williams Stole BET Awards With Speech on Racism – The New York Times

Jesse Williams Wants You To ‘Stay Woke’ In New Film On Black Lives Matter | HuffPost, Black Voices

STAY WOKE: The Black Lives Matter Movement, a Jesse Williams production.

“Black Lives Matter is in many ways, in its adolescence,” Williams told The Huffington Post about his involvement in the film and his thoughts on various aspects about the movement. He discussed with HuffPost the birth of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, how it subsequently swept the Internet by storm and how the hashtag helped to bring about real change. He also highlighted the daunting feat the movement’s participants have in figuring out how to create lasting change. 

Catch the rest of the article here: STAY WOKE

Source: Jesse Williams Wants You To ‘Stay Woke’ In New Film On Black Lives Matter

Interview: Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner challenges the Black Vote | Democracy in Color

An interview by Democracy in Color‘s Aimee with former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Leader of the Progressive Movement and Bernie Sanders Supporter:

Turner addresses the history of the Black Vote and why we are not seriously courted by Democrats in politics or policy, most especially in this coming General Election.

“I want to be proposed to, I want to get the ring. But because we are so predictable in our voting patterns, people who run for office — whether it is the Clintons or anybody else who is a Democrat — they don’t have to court us substantively, and we certainly don’t get the ring,” says Turner

“When A. Phillip Randolph, the labor leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, threatened President Roosevelt and said, “You are going to do something for the Black community or I’m going to march on you.” This was in the ’40s, before the March on Washington in the ’60s. The president didn’t want to see that, so he negotiated and we got something tangible for generations to come, for our vote. I don’t see us getting anything — the collective us — from Democrats that’s tangible for generations to come. That is the problem that I have.”

Turner challenges us to vote for our future, not our fear.

The interview in its entirety at: Democracy in Color

Source: Nina Turner: Leader of the American Progressive Movement — Democracy in Color

While the Global Village is Expanding, Some Are Burning Their Huts. ..

To find the origins of the referendum—the practice of putting questions (rather than candidates) to popular vote, which made news this week when Britain voted to leave the European Union—you have to go way back. “There was a Roman historian called Tacitus who wrote that on the small matters the governors decide, on important matters…

via How Referendums Like the Brexit Vote Became a Thing — TIME

50 Years After the Moynihan Report, Examining the Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration |The Atlantic

Staff writer, author, and activist TA-NEHISI COATES  on “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Never marry again in slavery. — Margaret Garner, 1858

Wherever the law is, crime can be found. — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1973

“lower-class behavior in our cities is shaking them apart.”

By his own lights, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ambassador, senator, sociologist, and itinerant American intellectual, was the product of a broken home and a pathological family. He was born in 1927 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but raised mostly in New York City. When Moynihan was 10 years old, his father, John, left the family, plunging it into poverty. Moynihan’s mother, Margaret, remarried, had another child, divorced, moved to Indiana to stay with relatives, then returned to New York, where she worked as a nurse. Moynihan’s childhood—a tangle of poverty, remarriage, relocation, and single motherhood—contrasted starkly with the idyllic American family life he would later extol. “My relations are obviously those of divided allegiance,” Moynihan wrote in a diary he kept during the 1950s. “Apparently I loved the old man very much yet had to take sides … choosing mom in spite of loving pop.” In the same journal, Moynihan, subjecting himself to the sort of analysis to which he would soon subject others, wrote, “Both my mother and father—They let me down badly … I find through the years this enormous emotional attachment to Father substitutes—of whom the least rejection was cause for untold agonies—the only answer is that I have repressed my feelings towards dad.”

Source: 50 Years After the Moynihan Report, Examining the Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration – The Atlantic

The Fallout of Brexit: An Omnimous Future for the UK

Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute on Brexit

The Swail Letter on Higher Education

Dr. Watson Scott Swail, President & CEO, Educational Policy Institute

After a long night, the results are in and the world woke up surprised. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union after 43 years of membership, shaking global economic markets and the financial stability of the UK. The “leave” campaign endured by a vote of 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent, in a surprising reverse of what polls suggested in the days leading up to this, only the third referendum in the history of the UK.

The impact of leaving the EU will be enormous and has already begun. By this morning, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation, giving additional instability to weak Parliament. Northern Ireland is already murmuring about the possibility of joining the Republic of Ireland to keep in the EU, and Scotland, which overwhelmingly voted to remain, is already in talks of a new referendum…

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Howard University Commencement 2016

Click on this link for the LIVE presentation. http://player.piksel.com/s/n131asj0

WHUR 96.3 FM in collaboration with WHUT broadcast via live web stream the 2016 Howard University Commencement Convocation with President Barack Obama delivering the keynote address.

Source: Howard University Commencement 2016

U.N. Experts Seem Horrified By How American Schools Treat Black Children

The United Nations in their assessment of United States schools found us guilty of the mistreatment of African American students. Why do I say us, many African Americans may posit? Beyond physical and mental abuses, this article also points to the updates in our texts books that cast slavery into the context of the American history of immigrants. African American parents are present while history is rewritten to soften any future systemic abuses suffered upon their descendants, yet we remain mute.  Read an excerpt below.

Controversy surrounding the way schools teach about the history of slavery also spiked in October, after a Texas mother discovered that her child’s textbook described slaves as “workers” in a section about immigration. “It talked about the U.S.A. being a country of immigration, but mentioning the slave trade in terms of immigration was just off,” Roni Dean-Burren, who documented her offense in social media posts that went viral, told The New York Times. “It’s that nuance of language. This is what erasure looks like.”

Source: U.N. Experts Seem Horrified By How American Schools Treat Black Children