Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Black Male Students: Not Giving in, Not Tiring Out

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Black Male Students: Not Giving in, Not Tiring Out

Article excerpt

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired -- Fannie Lou Hamer

Four recent implication-laden events in the legal arena remind us how perilous "our gains" can be. They are: 1) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federally funded state agencies may not be sued over policies that allegedly have a discriminatory effect on minority groups; 2) The high court also gave police even wider latitude in arresting citizens even for minor offenses; 3) The Mississippi higher education desegregation case was settled; and 4) The overdue conviction of one of the suspects in the 1963 Sunday school bombing in Birmingham, Ala., that killed four little girls.

Fannie Lou Hamer's quote is used because today we may tend to tire even considering the implications of these four events. But in the '50s and '60s under much tougher conditions the Mississippi civil rights activist never gave up or out.

Today our individual spheres of influence may not permit us to get actively involved with solutions to these unfolding events. But as our cover story demonstrates, when it cornes to the role that our young Black men must play in the eventual outcomes, we likewise cannot afford to tire out.

While reviewing data for our June 7th "Top 100" edition, a familiar yet disturbing observation was made. Only one college in the top 100 baccalaureate rankings graduated more Black men than women in 1999-2000.

Similarly for Hispanics, of the top 100 bachelor's producers only eight graduated more Hispanic men than women.

There are a lot of things that higher education indicts itself on, but its failure to address this highly consequential trend may be one of the most egregious.

The reality is that each of these young men who doesn't realize his potential exacts a tremendous toll on our communities. Female students don't have men to share the learning experience with, and later if they want to get married, cannot find husbands. …

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