citizens. One of the best ways for this to occur is to have African- American male teachers in the classroom. African-American male teachers may be the only father figure for many urban African- American students since many come from single-parent, female- headed households. In many of these female-headed households, there are no male figures for the young child to positively identify with, such as uncles, grandfathers, or cousins.
The absence of fathers has been identified as contributing to the adverse conditions and, subsequently, the plight of the African- American male today. In the fatherless home, a child is more likely to live in poverty and is a greater risk educationally. Finally, the child is less likely to learn what it means to make and keep a commitment.
Without a male role model in these fatherless homes, the child may be influenced by the environment--environment that is often filled with gangs and individuals dealing in illegal activities. Without African-American male teachers and other positive Black role models, the boys may emulate the inappropriate models to which they have been exposed.
The presence of African-American male teachers, as well as other positive adult African-American male role models, has been proven to be successful. The Project 2000 Program directed by Spencer Holland has already reported success. Similarly, the Educational Opportunity Program (E.O.P.)at the Lake Clifton-Eastern Senior High School in Baltimore, Maryland has also reported success by having African-American male teachers help combat the ills of African- American students' experience.
From these examples, it is evident that the presence of an African- American male teacher as a role model can be instrumental in improving the self-concept and academic achievement of the African- American male child.