Black Male Success: Forget What You Know

A new report busts myths about African-American men and education.


That, Toldson says, means “some public institutions in Maryland, through omission and negligence, collude to deny thousands of black, Latino and some white students the right to attend the state’s flagship university.”

He says that the institutional problem with race and college preparedness hit home for him when he realized that his own high school eliminated its physics course offering shortly after he graduated, meaning that had he been just a couple of years younger, he wouldn’t have qualified to attend his alma mater, Louisiana State University.

That, like many elements of the problems with black male achievement, has nothing to do with individual motivation, home life or cultural norms. The data, Toldson explains, “clearly demonstrate that the problem is institutionalized,” making the DNC — packed with policymakers whose collaboration will be needed to address the issues uncovered in the reports — an appropriate place to unveil this new analysis of it.

Additional issues raised by the report include race-related gaps in teacher preparation, compensation and discipline, as well as how black boys without disabilities end up in special education classes.

Toldson will provide more detail on the report’s findings in Show Me the Numbers, The Root’s monthly series published in association with Howard University’s Journal of Negro Education.

Developed with funding from the Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement, “Challenge the Status Quo” is available for digital download on the CBCF website. Hard copies of the report were distributed at the DNC this week and will be available at the CBCF’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 19-22.

Read previous installments of Show Me the Numbers here.

Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root’s staff writer. Follow her on Twitter.