Tuesday, May 09, 2006

every day i'm hustlin'

I’ve been doing a little research lately. Especially since I have wasted too much valuable blog space talking about the fatuous shit fools do. Namely black men in the entertainment industry – particularly hip hop stars. Not all, but enough to call them out for the feculent stupidity the perversely purport to be reflective of being real. Check this out: At the University of Michigan, the 2005 entering freshman class included 443 African American students. At Iowa State University, the 2005 entering freshman class had 311 African American students. The University of Kansas had 152 African American Freshmen enroll this past Fall. Also, this past academic year, at the University of Washington, there were 118 black freshmen in a class of nearly 5,000. This represented the lowest number since 1999 and was even less than when they first started letting African Americans attend the University of Washington. Lastly, among the University of Colorado’s 30,000 students there are fewer than 450 African-Americans inthe freshman class.

It took me a while just to find some of these schools. The information is somewhat hard to get since many school only list aggregate data for all undergraduates by ethnicity. But none the less, we can see that there is a problem here not to mention more than 70 percent of new students in freshmen class that are African American are women. This mean that African American males are not going to college. I wonder why this is the case? Strike that I know why. We focus so much on material things that we are not taught any more that the only real material is hard work and what we can do with our minds. I remember my folks telling me it was important to study and learn to read because a long time back in the days of slavery, one was killed or maimed for doing such.

We need to reinforce as best we can the importance of education. I remember when I got my PHD and went back to the cut, and told my boys that I had a PhD. they said “who would give you a phd, nigga you a mephis nigga.” I had to tell them that I earned it and still they eventually believed me but said “they don’t want to give no nigga like you a PHD.” I knew what they meant. Like they were saying I was to well respected and had a history of dirt, for any white institution to award me a doctorate for I was just the kind of person their system was designed to destroy - just like my boys saw themselves. I learned of this first hand when I was one of 3 African American Male professor level faculty at the Emory university Rollins School of Public Health out of more than 400. Our success as a community depends on education belive it or not and not hustling, selling drugs, how man dames we fuck, or who makes our watches or the kind or rims we have on our cars. We must do this to expose the world of the diversity within our community such to successful deal with the challenges that confront our community.

If we don’t, then there will be no diverse work force, nor future leaders to represent us or worse, no professionals (physicians, Lawyers or what have you) coming back to serve our needs in our neighborhoods because other folks wont. They may exploit the economic potential but they wont be focusing own the needs of the community as we do because they will not be of that community. So folks, give me a hand and lets start promoting this war we are in that seems to like for us as people, and especially as young men of African descent, to seek internment in a correctional facility more so than in a school or university. I guess until then, every day I will be hustling.


recmonet said...

I beleieve one of the main reasons black males are not attending college is to sign up for financial aid you have to sign up for the selective service its mandatory, this sign up is to enlist them into the government army. I feel this is sad and directed towards minority males because they do not have the funds to pay for college on their own.

Emanuel Carpenter said...

Good post. Unfortunately, with so many black males in jails, it's a reality. There are so many factors as to why this is such as single parent struggles, racism, materialism, the drug culture, etc. The list goes on. When I was growing up (I'm 38) I was told education was the only means for success. I did extremely well in school, partied out of college, went into the military and used the G.I. bill to get that degree (after serving in the Gulf War). I know so many brothers who didn't even sign up for the G.I. Bill and are now struggling after leaving the military. Our best bet is to probably focus on the younger generations though mentoring, financial contributions and being good role models.

Brownsoul said...

I feel you. And I think the fact that more sisters are getting educated than brothers creates another issue...but that's another post.

I wish that more black men would be mentors to black boys because they're not trying to listen to women(particularly, white women) tell them how to be men.

I visited a medium security prison about a year and a half ago and I was saddened by all of the young brothers that were locked up, a majority of them there because of drug related convictions.

My parents preached going to college "so that you can get a good job". Some of these kids are gonna figure they don't have to go to school to make good money. We do need to stop using materials things to define success.

We gotta do better...

LivingSingle said...

I really like how you're not afraid to tell it like it is.

chris said...

This is a really good post. Education is important and in the black community we need it bad. When I was in grad school at the University of Georgia in 2002 there were few black males and the black males that were there were athletes.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

thank u single and chris, i tried to find out how many were atheletes but fell short

Miz JJ said...

It's sad that a higher premium is not placed on education, but I believe we need to look before college. These kids are not getting the proper education before college. Their elementary, junior and high schools are underfunded and do not properly equip them for college. Black people need to stand up and demand better for their children. As well they need to hold their children accountable. Turn off the TV filled with crap like BET and take them to a library.

obifromsouthlondon said...

It's definitely the system. over here in Britain it's the same nightmare. statistically black boys get the worst results in the secondary school system and all sorts of programs have been launched to adress this. not one is actually asking why. I'm yet to find the University level/higher education figures but I strongly suspect it's the same. My wifey, who studied architecture, had about eight black guys on her course. none of them made the final cut and all dropped out by the third year. I mean how is that? and she said at least five of them were really dap at picking up architect skills. so what gives?

very true. until you get your head around the books there's no hope in this society. designed to make a blackman fail (or go mad)

Ri said...

You don't need to hustle, do you RDB?

fallen angel said...

YES! YES! YES! i have seven brothers and as they get older (the youngest one will be 18 in september), i am more and more concerned about their well-being and the status that they do/don't have in the world and in society. i've had the pleasure of meeting dr. shaun harper (currently at the university of pennsylvania) and he has some wonderful research involving Black college males in the works. dang! i cant believe i've been sleeping on your blog dr. torrance! im gonna make this a regular stop from now on. aint nothing like an intellectual brother--with locs nonetheless!!!! :)
~fallen angel

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ashanta said...

In 1972 I remember being called in the office of my university, MEC; the city Universities was filing a law suit against Social Services; they needed students to be involve in this process, being the warrior I thought I was; I decided that I was ready to take on this challenge, being warned by colleagues’ this would result in great hardship, I felt I had nothing to loose. I should have listen, when the shit hit the fan, everyone begin to bowed out, I was the only one who was representing my college,

I was represented by the NAACP, All the students that were suppose to participate dropped out in my college.

These were the hardest time in my life, the first incident began with my records being missing, at the time I was trying to maintain my college degree; and receiving assistant to keep my head above water, nothing was going to stop me from getting my education. In the first month my assistance was cut off, without notification, and my college records just disappeared.

I was fighting to keep my grants to maintain my education, the department of Social Services was trying to use my grants income, I was stress, oppress, suicidal; the city had other things in mind for me, I never gave up; I continued the fight to the supreme court, the law suit was, “City University vs. Social Service”, I remember taking the stand and explaining to Judge, why I felt as a black women, I should not be incarcerated in poverty, because the grants that were given to me, was my 40 aches in a mule, I was very militant back in those days, see the system they don’t like smart nigg…….., I remember watching the judge beat down on one of the lawyers of the NAACP, he talked to him like he was still on the plantation;

It took everything in my body to keep still. I remember the director of the City University visiting my home, he said Jackie we lost the case, I was on fire angry, and still full of fire, he said where do we go from here? I said what can I do? he said you can write the state, and tell them why you feel about the decision; and why it should be over turned, well I picked up my pen, and begin to write, and each stroke of my pen, I prayed, and through the grace of God, they over turn the decision, I won single handed;

Nevertheless what really hurt me; all that I have been through to beat this case, I didn’t even get a thank you, I had to drop out off college, and found me a job, my income stop coming, all I had to depend on was college work study, what also hurt me, these were my people ,those who were black as me, turned a deaf ear to my success, fearing of losing there jobs, it hurt me so bad, to see that my people left me out there.

I even called the NAACP they told me I had to pay them to defend me, nevertheless I over turn the decision, I was lucky to find me a job working with the city; as a Income Maintenance Specialist 111, working with ex offenders and drug addicts, after three years later, they tried to set me up, by bringing me up on charges, using my academic grants for income, thank god I had my court papers, represented by Union Representative;
her name was Mrs. Gill, she told me Jacqueline don’t open your mouth, let me do all the talking, it was funny, she begin to speak, she said what is the problems Sir? He said these people; she said what do you mean by this people? he said using the city money and we are paying them at the same time, I then took my court papers out of my pocket, she touched me
on my knee to tell me don’t speak;

I thought it was all over. See what I learn from this is warriors walk alone, And to know the full meaning of warrior, you must shed some blood, I was black listed; and three years later, they terminated me without cause. I could have fought it , but I was tired of fighting them, I went on to Education teaching, I didn’t really loose, because my brothers and sisters continue to further there education through the suffering and pain, this is some of the hell I went through, it is too long to continue, you can read it in my up coming book.


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