Tag Archives: college

Aw Pell Yes: Obama Slow Jams the News with Jimmy Fallon

I love this.  Critics have been nothing but critical of President Obama from day one, but they can’t stop him from having some fun. He has charisma and a personality (something one candidate in the Republican field can’t seem to find or make up his mind about). Take notes people. It’s called like-ability.

“I’m President Barack Obama, and I, too, would like to Slow Jam the News,” said Obama.  Good Job, Mr. President. Kudos to the Roots and Jimmy Fallon as well!!!

This video will get millions of views and make people aware of what is going on with student loan funding, Pell grants and the potential rise in interest rates.  Many of the viewers will be young people who don’t follow politics.  They will be able to easily understand why this is a pocket-book issue of them and how it impacts their future.  Obama needs to see huge youth vote numbers to win in November.  I believe this was a smart move for him.

If it’s ok for Santorum to take news crews with him on a hunting trip and Gingrich to talk about building a colony on the moon, I really dare crazy Right wing folks to have a problem with Barack Obama using some humor to get a serious point across to young people.

If you don’t get it, you may not be part of the intended audience.

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Filed under celebrity, government, news, obama, opinion, politics, student, television, video, youth

Friday Question: What should be done about black youth and education?

Black youth are not getting a quality education in many of the major centers of black life in this country (NYC, ATL, DC, Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Chicago, etc.) Not to mention all across the south. Nationally, the graduation rate is 53 percent; in contrast, the graduation rate of what schools call “underrepresented minorities” – blacks, Latinos and American Indians – is 45 percent. In California alone, 41.3 percent African-American students drop out of high school.

If these children are not prepared to graduate from high school and don’t attend college or get some form of higher education…what will be their prospects for the future? Will they end up with low paying jobs, find crime as a way to support themselves, or just fade into the new face of U.S. poverty. A recent study on the bulging prison system noted, “One in 100 Americans is behind bars in 2008, about 2.4 million people currently are incarcerated and nearly 60 percent of young black males who dropped out of high school have served time in jail

What will happen to the young people who do not receive a REAL “education” from America’s public school system?

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How about a Historically White Kollege

Time and time again I hear white people say…

“What if there was a college fund just for whites??”

“What if there was a TV station called Caucasion Entertainment Television?” [I call that the Country music channel actually]

This cartoon did the best job of expressing just how these statements sound to me.  It really puts it into context…extreme context, yes…but context none the less. Good job Cox and Forkum.

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Susan Jacoby on African American Studies

“Although Jacoby scolds culture warriors like Allan Bloom, author of “The Closing of the American Mind,” for both misunderstanding and misrepresenting the upheavals on American campuses during the 1960s and ’70s, she also deplores many of the leftist remedies for those conflicts. Women’s and African-American studies departments, she argues, only “ghettoize” the subject matter they champion, and further Balkanize and provinicalize university students. Not coincidentally, the creation of those departments generated more faculty jobs without pressuring traditional professors to reassess their curricula: ‘Too many white professors today could not care less whether most white students are exposed to black American writers, and some of the multicultural empire builders are equally willing to sign off on a curriculum for African-American studies majors that does not expose them to Henry James and Edith Wharton.’” – Salon.com

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The Sallie Mae Fund and BET Networks partner to Send African Americans to College

$25,000 Scholarship Competition and Free Scholarship Directory Help Students Identify and Access Money for College

RESTON, Va., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ — The Sallie Mae Fund and BET Networks are collaborating on two new initiatives to generate awareness of scholarships and other college-funding resources among African-American students.

“On average, college graduates earn $1 million more than high school graduates in the course of a lifetime,” said Debra Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks. “Increased awareness is the key to helping more African Americans realize their dream of going to college and, in turn, access that greater earning power.”

Today, BET will launch a special program to promote college scholarship awareness among its 87 million viewers and Web users. The “Next Level” scholarship competition will award $25,000 in Sallie Mae Fund scholarships to deserving students. Applications for the awards will be accepted on BET’s Web site from now through December 21. Winners will be announced in February. For more information about the “Next Level” scholarship competition, visit www.BET.com/nextlevelscholar.

In addition, a new directory will provide African-American students and their families with easier access to hundreds of college scholarships and millions in scholarship dollars. Sponsored by The Sallie Mae Fund and BET and produced by the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, “Black College Dollars,” available at www.blackcollegedollars.org, offers a free, comprehensive listing of more than 300 scholarships designed for African-American students.

Source: CNNMoney.com 

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Blackface is never a good costume choice

Four Colorado College men’s hockey players recently completed a two-week suspension for wearing blackface and dressing up as black actors during a pre-season team golf outing Sept. 8.The players, including Brian Connelly of Bloomington Jefferson and team captain Scott Thauwald of Rochester Mayo, tried to look like characters on “Family Matters,” a TV show about a black family. Their teammates picked five other TV shows, ranging from “Baywatch” to “Scrubs,” in keeping with the theme of the outing.

“We realize now, even though there was no racial intent, that what we did was wrong,” Thauwald told a Colorado newspaper.

The four suspended players returned to practice Oct. 8 and are expected to play against the visiting Gophers in a two-game series starting Friday.

Source: DailyTribune.com 

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True or False: More black men in jail than in college

I’ve long believed that there are more black men in jail than in college. However, I’m taking into account all black men of college age, not comparing the total number of black men in jail to the total number of black men enrolled in college. I’ve found an interesting article that attemps to answer the question of this belief being true or false, and provides some statistics. This is a belief I’ve heard noted time and time again (especially when discussing the number of available black men in the company of single black women).

In the article, Michael Strambler (Baltimore Sun) writes:

“Are more black men behind bars than in college? The answer lies in who is doing the counting – and how.

A controversy is brewing about the veracity of this often-stated belief – one that is likely to be amplified by the injustice in Jena, La., and the new census report that more black people live in jails than in dormitories.

Unfortunately, the claims from neither side of the debate provide an accurate picture of the issue. We need to get a handle on the answer so we are not distracted from pursuing the larger question of why so many black men are incarcerated.

Part of the tension around this subject has to do with the film What Black Men Think, which in part aims to debunk the popular negative notions about black men. One point the filmmaker, Janks Morton, argues is that the notion that there are more black men in jail and prison than in college is false. In the film, most of the criticism is directed toward the Justice Policy Institute, which produced a 2002 report that Mr. Morton says sparked all the hoopla. Mr. Morton calls the report a con to benefit the Justice Policy Institute and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Jason Ziedenberg, executive director of the institute, recently reiterated the validity of the report’s findings. But the real answer lies between their arguments.

The numbers in question from the Justice Policy Institute report come from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics. The report indicates that there were an estimated 791,600 black men in jail and prison in 2000 and a count of 603,032 in college in 1999. Mr. Morton agrees with the jail and prison number but asserts in his blog that the more reliable U.S. Census Bureau reports that there were 816,000 black men in college in 2000. In the film, he makes comparisons using the same data sources for 2005 and states this number to be 864,000. Furthermore, he argues that it is bad practice to use the entire age range of black males when making these comparisons, because the age range for college-going males is generally 18 to 24, not the 18 to 55 (and up) range of the jail and prison population. Viewed this way, the ratio of black men in college compared with jail and prison is 4-to-1.

Mr. Morton’s position that the Census Bureau number is more accurate leads to the assumption that the number is a head count, similar to the decennial census. But the number really comes from the Current Population Survey, which is conducted by the Census Bureau but is not the census itself. This is a household survey administered to a sample of individuals in order to estimate the entire population. The less representative the coverage of the survey, the less sure one can be of the accuracy of the estimated number. And – surprise – the Current Population Survey’s lowest coverage rate is among young black men.

On the other hand, the number of college-going black males from the National Center for Education Statistics is from a mandatory institutional survey of all degree-granting institutions eligible to disburse federal financial aid funds (the overwhelming majority). No sampling is involved; they count all the students in the nation. This points to the greater reliability of the national center number over the Current Population Survey number.

Mr. Morton does make a very important point about the need for these kinds of comparisons to use relevant age groups, which the Justice Policy Institute report does not do.

The best evidence thus indicates that as a whole, there are more black men in jail and prison than in college – but there are more college-age black men in college than in jail and prison. It doesn’t make for a great sound bite; complex realities rarely do. But perhaps the primary focus of the discussion can now turn to why there are so many black men in jail – and what society can do about it.”

I’m glad to hear that there are more college aged black men in school rather than jail cells. However, we must be conscious of the impact of the lack of those brothers 18-55 not being present in our communities. Children raised without fathers, single black women without mates, and the plight these men face when released are all realities that the Black community must deal with. Each year, when 650,000 ex-prisoners return to communities all across the United States, so many of them are African Americans.  They are our brothers, lovers, fathers…they are us.  We shouldn’t just consider them statistics…we should consider them loved so that they can be restored and our community can be restored.  Let our legacy evolve so that the assumption of where our college aged black men are will be that they are in a positive place due to our efforts.

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