Blackmales experience racial-sexism at every age level in education. The disparityin the school performance amongst African American males can be tied to schooland culture.
This achievement gap has appeared in the results of grades, testscores, graduation rates for both high school and college and the rates ofemployment (Knight). This starts to develop for African American males astoddlers to young adults to adults and it follows them all through their elderlife. From an early age, black male students are labeled as “problem children”(Johnson). This problem is not usually thought of as a form of sexism when it reallyis. This problem is seen among both black males and females but the numbers areusually higher for the males. The people who are teaching these kids oftenunconsciously treat the children differently only by the shade of their skincolor. In many cases, black and white male students show the same behavior inthe classroom but get disciplined differently. Teachers will claim to say thattheir actions show criminalistic behavior at an early age, and while the whitemale is praised by their same behavior (Johnson).
For African-Americanboys, the presumption of misbehavior starts before they have entered akindergarten classroom. African American male students are suffering from asevere educational achievement gap. This follows them from when they aretoddlers, all the way to elementary school, high school and college.
In May 17,1954, the case of Brown v. Board of Education removed all segregation fromschools. In 1954 schools were separated by race.
There were separate schools forboth black children and white children. Linda Brown, a parent to one of thoseblack kids affected, believed that this separation violated the FourteenthAmendment and took the case to court. The Supreme Court, agreed. The Courtruled that segregation itself was very harmful and a violation of the constitutionalright to equal protection (Landmark). Although we no longer have that kind ofsegregation going on, we do still have racial discrimination happening insideschool campuses. A newreport concludes that nearly 63 years after the landmark Brown v.
Board ofEducation case, the majority of African Americans are still not graduating fromhigh school. The movement Yes We Can, The Schott 50 State Report on PublicEducation and Black Males, illustrates that only about 47 percent of Black malesgraduate from high school (Holzman). This study indicated that the school systemis divided evidently by race, social class, and zip code (Holzman). The rate atwhich Black male students are being expelled from school and going into prisonfar exceeds the rate at which they are graduating from high school or evenless, college. Most of them, not reaching high academic achievement like otherraces would (Holzman). Black male students are punished more severely forsimilar infractions than their white peers. Most of the time not given the sameopportunities to participate in classroom activities that would benefit them.
Suchstatistics describe black boys as more likely than peers to be placed inspecial education classes, labeled mentally retarded, suspended from school, ordrop out altogether (Bishop). Black boys are three times more likely to besuspended or expelled from school than their white peers (Bell). This oftenleads to them deciding to drop out from an un-welcome space. The majority ofthese high school drop outs face economic failure compared to their peers whodid receive a high school diploma.
The health of those drop outs is also likelyto be poorer than their peers and also 6 times more likely to be incarcerated(Rumberger). Factors that affect the drop-out rate are varied by different circumstancesand as complex as they may be, for almost every case, dropping out is not asudden act but it is often a process of the child being disengaged (Bell). Advanced programs in schools areless likely to place black males and more than twice as likely to place whitemales in their programs. This is happening as black males find themselves twiceas likely to be classified mentally retarded in spite of research showing thatthe intelligence level of all students no matter their race is about the same(Holzman). This is due to the lack of professional knowledge of their teachersand staff because the statistics prove so. These professionals fail to educateall students with the same equality. The way these students get disciplinedtake in account for a significant number of the Black male students who dropout of high school and don’t obtain a diploma. School suspensions are more thanlikely to happen in the lives of Black students which lead for them to endtheir school careers.
Data from the U.S Department ofEducation showed that from all K-12 African American students, 3.8 of them arefour times as likely to receive more school suspensions than their white peers.The suspension percentage rate was 18 percent for Black young boys and 10percent for Black young girls (Toppo). That same study showed that among whitestudents only 5 percent of boys and 2 percent girls were suspended only once (Toppo).Suspension is very common amongst minority students and its often quick tohappen without teachers thinking of the consequences that can lead in the livesof these students. Suspension equals to students missing valuable learning timein the classrooms and leads them to stay behind in important subjects.
The morebehind these children get, the less motivated they feel which leads to themmissing more class because they feel that it is now impossible to catch up andunderstand the material. Another outcome that comes after suspension is ditchingschool to be in the streets with their friends which can lead to the beginning ofgang affiliation and further acts that can lead to incarceration. Higher education today is not as unobtainableas it was in previous decades, it is much more common now. Although a collegedegree is significant amongst any ethnicity, in African American culture, acollege degree is significant because this race is still among the mostmarginalized ethnic group in American society (Washington). This is due to thelack of motivation students receive from teachers and often the lack of supportthat they receive from their parents as well.
This leads to Black male studentsnot continuing to further their higher education. The graduation gap continuesto widen over the years and influences many black male students to drop out ofinstitutions altogether. These students have taken a significant step backwardsdue to the size of the graduation gap between African American and non-African Americanstudents of higher education (Washington). Improving the number of graduationrates is significant because in a lot of cases, black males who obtain collegedegrees tend to have children who will follow their example which then in thelong term shortens the education gap. Overall, African American malesexperience sexism at all ages and grade levels. They are often stereotyped asviolent, criminalistics, dangerous and signaled as a constant threat withouthaving evidence. I think that the problem begins when these kids are toddlersand quickly signaled as “problem children”, and after their actions are exaggeratedwhen they are just acting like any other child their age would. Black malestudents are compared often and this leads to the drop-out rates sky rocketing.
When it comes down to being realistic, the outcomes of what their lives turnout to be sometimes reflect the childhood they had. The adults that surroundthese kids have a huge impact in the choices individuals like these make andthese adults need to be more aware of it. Black teens are at an early agetreated like potential thugs and rapists (Johnson) which has to affect them insome way. The education gap will never come closer together if we don’t startseeing equality in all races.