It has become som
ewhat cliché to refer to the harsh realities of being a Black male in America as the “Black Male Crisis.” After all, as far back as the 1980’s newspapers and magazines were running features describing the evisceration of African-American men from society. Conferences were held, research reports issued, and some states established commissions; all with the singular purpose of identifying measures to improve conditions for Black men. Despite these good intentions, three decades later, Black males are in a precarious state in America and against the backdrop of a historic recession their prospects are dim unless we move aggressively to alter their course.
Just how bad is it for Black men? A recent report issued by the College Board reached a stunning and sobering assessment of the quality of life for Black males. The report titled “The Educational Experiences of Young Men of Color,” reviewed the current research on educational pathways. The report notes that unemployment is the most likely postsecondary destination for Black males who do not end up incarcerated or meet an early death.
At the CBCF, we have aligned some of our policy initiatives to address issues around young Black men. This work continues today as we continually engage the policy process on issues such as mass incarceration, a more rational drug policy, the improvement of our public schools and job training and employment.
Corporate leadership and wealthy citizens can and must play a pivotal role in providing opportunities for young black males; through training and employment. Just last week New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he would invest $30 million of his personal wealth behind a city initiative aimed at improving the lives of young minority males.
To find out more on the issue of Black males, read the landmark publication by senior research analyst at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Ivory Toldson, Ph.D., “Breaking Barriers: Plotting the Path to Academic Success for School-age African-American Males.” http://cbcfinc.org/newsroom/press-room.html.
You are invited to join Dr. Toldson as he releases a follow up of the report “Breaking Barriers Two(BB2) during CBCF’s 41st Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) from September 21-24 in Washington, DC.: The 88-page research report focuses on the roles that schools and communities can play in promoting academic success among African-American males and reducing the disproportionate contact that young black males have with the juvenile justice system. Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02), a panel of experts and foundation executives will join Dr. Toldson to discuss national strategies to improve educational outcomes for African-American males.In addition to the release of BB2, the Conference will offer a half dozen issue forums and brain trust sessions confronting this issue and seeking viable solutions. To find out more and to register for ALC visit us @www.alc11.org.
Meanwhile, what can you do? Get involved, share your thoughts with your member of Congress and the White House and voice your opinion. When citizens are informed, engaged and active participants in moving the country in the right direction, our nation is that much stronger.