Are We Preparing Our Black Men for Championships or Diplomas?

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    I want you to read something that caught my attention this week:

    “When we have more national championships than we do black male freshmen, it’s evident that our only purpose here is to improve your winning percentage. So now black high school kids can care less about grades just as long as the number on the back of their jersey doesn’t fade; and you tell me I should be proud to be a Bruin.”

    That’s Sy Stokes, a third-year Afro-American studies student at the University of California, Los Angeles stating that 65 percent of the small number of black students at UCLA are undergraduate athletes.

    Stokes identifies himself as Black, Cherokee and Chinese. He also says he’s the cousin of tennis legend and former Bruin the late Arthur Ashe.

    He is joined by about a dozen other young African-American men who wonder out loud why they should be proud to be UCLA Bruins when the latest undergraduate admissions information shows only 3.8 percent are African-American students.

    Out of almost 20 thousand male students enrolled at UCLA, only 660 are black.

    According to Stokes, the school has more national sports championships– 109– than black male freshmen– 48– currently enrolled at the university.

    The young men who are challenging the school to be more inclusive and who are making their voices heard through a video posted online and through a change.org petition that’s gaining momentum.

    I really frankly admire the young men. They are brave and should be applauded in their efforts to encourage UCLA to do better in recruiting African-American students, with particular focus on black males.

    Here are some facts though that they and you should be aware of.

    As a trustee of the college from which I was a graduate, Brooklyn College, I know that the hardest students for us to recruit academically or otherwise are black males.

    According to the U.S. Department of Education the college graduation rate for black males nationwide is 33.1 percent. At UCLA it’s 74 percent. That’s a good percentage but 74 percent of a small number is an even smaller number. You understand what I’m saying?

    However, I want those young men in that UCLA video to know what I know as someone who sits on the board of a college, a very diverse college as a matter of fact. As someone who communicates with students and educators a few times a month on this very issue.( I just left Miami-Dade last week doing a summit on this very issue.)

    Number one, you should be encouraging UCLA to improve its recruiting and diversity practices. But highly qualified, academically competitive black students, many of them male, are having their way in good numbers at ivy league universities and historically black colleges and universities like Morehouse and Spellman with graduation rates in the 80 and 90 percent ranges. The onus is not just on schools like UCLA to improve diversity. It’s on society to understand the history of this country and its uneven playing field. it’s mostly on us to improve the students and the schools in our own communities.

    So, I completely understand it when the young men in the video say, “stop pretending that the wounds of our past have healed. We’re not asking for a handout. we’re asking for a level playing field.”

    True, but in order for that playing field to level out, we have to place a premium on education, on academics, on closing the achievement gap for young, black people, especially young black men.

    We have to make them the best and the brightest so UCLA and other schools like it won’t have any other choices and no more excuses.

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    15 thoughts on “Are We Preparing Our Black Men for Championships or Diplomas?

    1. We should all watch the video The BlackMan(State of Emergency)on Youtube.It is “The Black Print”(blue print) into the future. Peace!

    2. i visit this site a lot less and the reason is during a very important subject WE GO AWAY FROM THE TOPIC TO ARGUE. one of the reasons i have been blessed and am able to give insight to OUR YOUTH comes from my prayers to help myself overcome the “angry black man” that bolis inside.i found the only way was to lay it all down with my creator. once i did he has led me on a journey of understanding. i visit these sites to have diverse angles to approach OUR YOUNG BROTHERS.WE MUST FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THAT TASK. please dont allow the ‘ANGRY BLACK MAN IN YOU TO WIN. this is a way for us to communicate across boundaries for resolve.

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    4. I would like all black people on this site to read the comments of this Joe Valdez and realize his views represent a growing majority of white Americans. Notice the disrespect and lack of value he places on Black life. Notice how his rhetoric is filled with false facts and skewed statistics, and please notice how he makes no differentiation between Black men and Women. Notice how there is no feminist group in Dearborn protesting for Renisha Mcbride isn’t she a woman? We must wake up and DO FOR SELF we have been trying to make friends with the same enemy for generations with no success, so let us befriend, defend, support and spend our money with each other. So next time Scandal comes on realize that it is fake and we are under attack. No black apologist or those who seek validation from their enemy should be welcomed in our communities celebrity or common man.

    5. Ok Tom enough of the blatant hate, and out right unnecessary rudeness towards Don. This site should use a filter/moderator like most sites do. Every one has the right to their opinion; including Don, and people who make comments. But there is something called crossing the line, and a lot of commenters have gone way past that line. It’s RUDE, UNNECESSARY, and also shows THE INTELLIGENCE LEVEL OF SOME PEOPLE. In short I think there are lots of insecure people in the world, and it makes them feel better when they can push their insecurities off on other people.

    6. Joe Blacks built the White House and you cant breed Black away it is the dominant gene but you can breed white away which is your real fear. Blacks gave the world Math, Science, Language, Art Philosophy and religion this is a recorded fact. Blacks in America have given the world some of its greatest inventions have you heard of George Washington Carver or Dr Charles Drew? Its sad that you would spend your day trying to erase black facts on a black forum but I guess a man cannot deny his nature.

      • I said You stupid Black think that you can breed your AFRICAN American stupidity away . If you guys smart why didn’t you build the MLK monument ? You know why ? Because you didn’t have a White Man or Latino directing you guys. Also true Black Slaves under White supervision built the White house .

    7. Amont the 34% Don is mentioning are 75% Black women , only 8-10% Black men complete colleges. Don lemon is so anxious to encourage “Diversity” because he , like most Blacks, are unhappy of being Black they breed with White women in order to Breed the Black out of their Kids hoping to produce a bunch of Obama’s , and unfortunately they end up like that Jonathan Martin Halfbreed, and a failed activist Cut and Paste President Obama with the lowest popularity of any President ever (39% Approval and 61% Dissaproval). Hell Obama prefer to be know as Irish than a Luo African Slave trader who’s Grand Dad and ancestors sold millions of Black slaves

      • Please check your grammar. It’s getting old. You’re writing all this isht and can’t put together a sentence propelry. Now get it together before we contact INS and have your ass deported.

    8. I hope Black men don’t emeulate Don Lemons Homosexual behaviors of performing oral sex on his White Boyfriens penis. Don is a good”Boy” he knows that by licking White Homosexual men the right place he will go ahead. American Blacks will never achieve the level of intelligence other races have. Just listen to their communication skills including calling each other Nigga etc…. Blacks couldn’t even build the MLK monument , Chinese did . What can Black Americans Do ????

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