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Re: “Rich, Black, Flunking

I am a PhD Candidate in Special Education and I just happen to run across this blog.
I work with African American students through out my school district. My passion is for African American boys. It is sad to say, but I must admit, I am glad to see that African American students are not only failing in the poverty stricken environments. Society had led us to believe that poverty, single parent homes with mothers as the primary care givers, and rap music and drugs are the reasons for African American children are school failures.
As an African American woman who has grown up in poverty, I feel I can shed a little light on what I have discovered through my years as a 22 year educator. When I grew up education was the primary in the homes of African American children across this nation, now education is just "something to do". Parents are compromising with children. African American children have more opportunities to day than we have ever had in our lives, but they are not taking advantaged of by African American parents. Our parents have failed to keep the dream alive, teach out children of our survival, civil rights movement, oppression, depression and shame out ancestors had to endure so that they could sit in a classroom and learn to READ, WRITE, AND BECOME KNOWLEDGE OF MATH SKILLS TO SURVIVE. OUR PARENTS TAKE MORE PRIDE IN MAKE THEM COMFORTABLE, CUTE, AND NOTICABLE THAN TEACHING THEM RESPECT, CHARACTER, AND MORALS THAT WOULD MAKE THEM PRODUCTIVE CITIZEN THAT ARE ANCESTORS DIED TO MAKE OF A PART OF. WE GIVE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE WE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH, BUT WE HAD SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN TANGABLE ITEMS. We had family values, spirit guidance-not church entertainment to keep them motivated to come-there was no compromising with children; did it kill us-no, it made us leaders, hard workers, and productive citizen. Parents a shaping their children to want something for nothing, when education is the one thing they can get for nothing? Do we blame this on white people; I say not, the blame is on our foolish pride for life, which had proven to come before the fall!
African American parents are more upset about the school taking their child's cell phone, IPod, or hurting their feeling, than grades, attitude and behavior. I have seen parents aggressive with school leaders about mechanical devices, but will not come to an IEP meeting, discuss how to improve grades or even attend a PTA meeting. African American parents will drive their children to a concert and attend with them, but WILL NOT take them to the library, having dinner together, or contact teachers about strategies to improve their Childs academic progress.
Our children are the most dressed up students in the schools and the biggest failures in the nation. Our children come to school for social promotion; feel accepted by peers and lack a passion for change progress in their academics.
Another thing I find interesting is at an early age everything our children say and do appears to be cute and funny. When they enter the public school there is a challenge, because the school is daily trying to break a mode that has been functioning at that capacity for over 5 years. The exposure of profanity, negative music, and defiant behaviors causes African American students and educators to often develop power struggles which implant hatred in African American students of education and educators. Then parent come to school supporting their Childs behaviors. God forbid if the teacher is white, then it becomes racism.
We are failing our own children. We are committing slow suicide cases through out America. School has not failed our black children-we have failed our black children by not acknowledging the fact that we are creating a race of children to feel they deserve everything without earning anything.
Black children truly don’t know what poverty is, even the ones that are supported by the government, because they are spun from generations of ancestors who have survived through the support of the system. This is not about white, black, or other-this is about character morals and ethic out the mold maker.
We are loosing a race of African American children because they don't feel they should be challenge, think out side the box. They know more about Jay Z, TuPoc, and Biggie Smalls , and they have know clue of who Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Benjamin Banneker ,Thurmond Marshall and the leaders of their communities. They still believe that Topoc is alive while they are dying to his music everyday. If they don't have a pair of sneaker to match their clothing they will not attend school. If they teachers redirect them they redirect the entire teaching and learning process. How can this be-PARENTS! Our four fathers gave their lives for our people to be educated, appreciated, and respected, but how can we ask this of society when we don't even respect ourselves. As a positional Special Educator/Education Professor my goal is to bring change in the minds of African American males. I want them to know our struggle, our pain-and not feel that they should always gain, but give back to our forefathers by become leaders of the future that will bring positive outcomes in our communities, school systems, and communities across America. It is not students that are failing-its parents.

Special education is not labeling them disabled-we disabled them before they enter the school system. We are more worried about them being labeled than the label they are putting on our culture.
Educators can't do it, Obama will try, but parents need to step up to the plate and be mothers, fathers, not sisters and brothers. I tell my children the older you get the older I get. Life is not design for us to catch up with each other. You should never think that you will catch up with me in wisdom knowledge and life. When you feel you are on my level, well that is when the respect has gone out the window, and we are no longer mother-daughter, son-mother-we are at war, because if you 10, 20, and 30 and still not did not learn value as a child. You miss the mark
In conclusion, I often ask our African American student as I support them in the schools:
Do you know who Martin Luther King Jr. is? They response, of course-he freed us. I say okay, I’ll accept that for now. Then I ask them who is the president-of course they look at meet with excitement. I ask about Rosa Parks and many others and some are familiar and some not.
Then I asked them if all these great leaders could visit your school today and see what you are doing (disrespectful, defiant, oppositional, poor grades, and school refusal), would:
• Martin Luther king allowed himself to be killed?
• Would Rosa Parks do through swamps to get your ancestors to freedom?
• Would Thurmond Marshall fight for you to have a better education?
• Would Fannie Lou Hamer risk her life so that you would have the right to vote?
• Would Matthew Alexander Henson climb to the top of the world?
• Would Obama be proud to be your president?
• Would Dr. Percy Lavon Julian strive to prove to you that we could become scientist?
Don’t get me wrong, not all African American parents and student are failing-these are the only ones who are making headlines.
This article shed light on the fact that African American parents (rich or poor) poisoned themselves to believed that society is failing our children, when if they look at the man in the mirror; they would see that they have been part of the problem.

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by savingarace on 12/22/2009 at 1:06 AM

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