Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
July 24, 2014

About a "Girl" Who Refused to Just Shut up and Take Orders

Donald Sterling ASSOCIATED PRESS

You could argue that the woman on the recording didn't really set up the man on the recording; instead, she let events play out in a way that seemed quite characteristic for the Clippers owner.

11 Parents Of Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Have Died

Nigeria
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Man Accused Of Threatening To Kill Obama

Obama
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

Michael Sam Reveals Why He Had Second Guesses About Coming Out Publicly

Michael Sam Boyfriend
Michael Buckner via Getty Images

The NYPD Is Getting An Overhaul, And That May Mean More Tasers

Bratton
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Forgotten Black Mormons Reclaim Their Place In History Of The LDS Church

Flake
Utah Department of Heritage & Arts / RNS

Black Leaders Worry Low Voter Turnout Could Lead To More Voter ID Laws

Jotaka Eaddy
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Vine User Gets Back At Store Employees Following Him In Best Possible Way

Rashid Polo Shopping
Vine / Rashid Polo

Why Bobby Jindal Is Being Sued By His Allies

Bobby Jindal Common Core
ASSOCIATED PRESS

McDonald's Allegedly Fires Mom Whose Daughter Played Outside While She Worked

Harrell
ABC local affiliate

Black Colleges Face Hard Choices On $25 Million Koch Donation

Black Colleges
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

39 Pieces Of Advice For Journalists And Writers Of Color

Black Professionals
Roberto Westbrook via Getty Images

Chokehold Death Puts New York's Controversial Police Chief Back In The Spotlight

Bill Bratton
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

These 3 Governors Are Definitely Not Good Neighbors

Deval Patrick
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NYPD Internal Memo Says Chokehold Victim Was Not 'In Great Distress'

Eric Garner
ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Obama Expands Plan To Help Minority Boys

My Brothers Keeper
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why The Case Of The NYPD Officer Who Put A Man In A Chokehold Is 'Indefensible'

Eric Garner
New York Daily News

Luxury New York Condo Will Have A 'Poor Door' For Lower-Income Residents

Poor Door
PIX11

Renisha McBride Shooting Death Trial To Begin

Renisha Mcbride
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Eric Garner's Cause Of Death 'Pending Further Studies'

Eric Garner
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why I Can't Watch the Video of the NYPD Murdering Eric Garner

Eric Garner
YouTube

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. Black Voices
    4. View all RSS feeds

Sherri Shepherd's Huge Custody Victory

Sherri Shepherd
JPI

Pregnant!

Zoe Saldana Marco
Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images

Whitney Houston's Family Slams Lifetime Biopic

Whitney Houston 2009
ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOTOS
'Get On Up' Premiere

Get On Up Premiere
BlackFilm.com

The King Of Pop Just Got A Huge Honor From His Hometown

Michael Jackson
AFP via Getty Images

Marvel Won't Make A Black Captain America Movie 'Any Time Soon'

Female Thor
ASSOCIATED PRESS

You Don't Know This Rising R&B Star Yet, But You Will

Sza Pitchfork
Justin Barbin/The Huffington Post

Spike Lee Posts Chilling Video Proving Chokehold Victim Is The Real Life Radio Raheem

Spike Lee Eric Garner
YouTube

Sherri Shepherd's Estranged Husband Adds More Drama To Divorce Battle

Sherri Shepherd Lamar Sally
Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Split Rumors Surround Beyonce And Jay Z

Beyonce Jay
Invision for Parkwood Entertainment

Michael Rapaport Fires Back At 'Sh*t Stain' Spike Lee

Michael Rapaport
HuffPost Live

A$AP Rocky Is Facing A Lawsuit For Allegedly Slapping A Fan

Asap Rocky
Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

WATCH
Newest 'Dear White People' Trailer Will Have You In Stitches

Dear White People Trailer
Dear White People YouTube

Celebrities React To Eric Garner's Death On Twitter

Eric Garner
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The World's Got One Less Problem Thanks To This Dad-Daughter Dancing Duo

Dad And Daughter Dancing
YouTube

CNN Asks Why Black Men Are Not Graduating From College

Comments (32)

Richelle Carey at CNN Headline News recently reached out to me to find out why black men aren't graduating from college. I've written on this topic on a few occasions and also in my book 'Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College.' The segment is here if you'd like to watch, and you can tell in the segment that I am angry.

I was angry during the interview because the lack of educational and economic achievement of the black male, along with mass incarceration, has continuously threatened the strength and stability of the African American family. I was angry because most of us, as Americans, have not had a sense of urgency when it comes to resolving these disparities. Some black men are too busy learning how to become thugs, and white America is too busy perpetuating racially imbalanced institutions that keep Jim Crow alive in America. Many black women are busy blaming every social ill on black men, which is equally problematic. At the end of the day, all of us are wrong, and we all have the ability to work together to solve this problem.

First, universities must stop making excuses for not hiring black professors. When I opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, one of the reasons I stood against her is because during her tenure as dean of Harvard Law School, she didn't hire a single African American faculty member (out of 29 total tenured and tenure-track appointments). This problem is all too common, as many universities get applications from solid black professors and find some ridiculous, ambiguous and often secret reason to turn them down. The result is that many students go to college for four to 10 years (adding in graduate school) without having any black professors (except in African American studies, where they allow us to teach). That was my experience, as well as the common experience of many other black men who were educated at predominantly white universities. My hurdles in higher education led me to feel like a fish out of water, since there was no role model for me to look up to – I always felt like I was swimming upstream. Universities have to stop making excuses for not diversifying their faculty with underrepresented minorities; they must also stop hiring black professors for temporary jobs only, and start giving permanent positions to black faculty so that black students can have role models, too. A case in point is my brother's recent graduation from the business school at Cornell University. I saw only one black professor out of dozens on the stage. The same was true at my sister's graduation from medical school, where there was not a single black person in the entire group of faculty. Such outcomes should be appalling and unacceptable to all of us.

Second, black males must raise their expectations. Being a baller or a rapper is all fine and good, but it takes far less intelligence to be a doctor or lawyer. In fact, I earned good grades by studying four to six hours a day, which is less than the amount of time I would have spent on my job at Taco Bell. If a man can "slang" fast food for 10 hours a day, then he should be able to study for half that time. It's time for black men to stop pretending to be stupid. Of course, this doesn't include the black male soldiers out here who are already hustling to do the right thing. The truth is that black men are proud, strong and capable, and if we choose to dominate academically, it is fully within our ability to do so. In fact, if we were to take as much pride in our academic achievements as we do our athletic ones, we would be world-leading intellects. We would also have a lot more money in our pockets, since professional sports leads to more busted dreams than fulfilled ones.

Third, universities should realize that black men can do more than play basketball. I find it ironic that many campuses (i.e., the University of Kentucky, my alma mater) will claim that they can't find enough qualified black males to admit as students, yet they always seem to find a way to get a pack of black men onto the basketball court. I also find it interesting that campuses feel it is essential for black students to learn everything a person needs to know about Ben Franklin but don't require white students to learn much of anything about Malcolm X or the great civilizations of Africa. Perhaps if universities made a greater effort to diversify their curricula, we might find that black men are more interested in what they have to say.

I write all this from the heart, mainly because I was almost a statistic myself. When you break it all down, the black community must stand strong and commit itself to demanding a quality education for all of our children. All the while, we must encourage our children to accept and pursue quality education when it is made available. Education is the single most important commodity on earth, and the same way valuable oil is being spilled to destroy every living thing in the Gulf of Mexico, we are spilling educational opportunities that continue to destroy our community. Force your kids to pick up a book; it might save his or her life.







Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the new book 'Black American Money.' To have Dr. Boyce's commentary delivered to your e=mail, please click here.

Comments: (32)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 4

Most Commented Articles

Daily Drama

The Best Clips From TV's Hottest Shows


More Daily Drama >>

Get Closer to BV

  • slider Image
  • slider Image
  • slider Image

BLACK MUSIC NEWS
The latest news and updates on a multitude of music stars.
Check It Out!

BLACK MUSIC NOTES

       

MEN OF MCCAFÉ SEARCH
McDonald's continues its nationwide search to find five community-service minded black men during this year's CIAA tournament.


LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN

       
 

Find a Message Board

Discover conversations on everyone from Barack to Beyonce. There are nearly 50 forums, so click on a category below and find the right one for you.