While Black females are thriving, Black males are becoming a rare species on college campuses across America. In Georgia, state officials are trying to address this serious problem with a new effort known as the "AfricanAmerican Male Initiative."
"This is not an issue that is indigenous only in Georgia," says Arlethia PerryJohnson, associate vice chancellor for media and publications for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. "This is a nationwide issue that is almost at the crisis level."
According to the latest figures from the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, Black men represented 9.7 percent of students enrolled in college.
In Georgia, college-age Black males make up 16 percent of the state's population, but less than 10 percent of them are enrolled in college. In the fall of 2002 more than 233,000 students were enrolled in the state's 34 public colleges and universities. There were only 52,000 Black students, and of those, 17,068 were Black males. Black women outpaced Black men by a more than 2 to 1 ratio.
Perry-Johnson headed the 52-member task force, which identified several key factors of why Black men lag behind in college enrollment, including low aspirations among …