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Why Black Children Run Away From Home…

Yeah, a lot of black children run away from home or go missing. One of the reasons the Police and media don’t take it as seriously as they could is this…

Many of these children have reasons to run away.

Image result for black child spanked

We need to pay attention to the home lives that missing kids are fleeing from.

Last month, a rumor that more than 500 mostly black and Latino children from the District of Columbia had been abducted and sold into sex slavery went viral on social media. A new decision by D.C. police to alert the public whenever children were reported missing had backfired; most of the kids had been found safe within 24 hours, but those updates never spread as far as the initial reports. Worried people, from the Congressional Black Caucus to LL Cool J, raised alarms over what looked like a sudden epidemic that was being ignored in ways that would be unimaginable with white children.

Hoping to quell the outrage, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser assured the public that there has been no surge of missing kids. “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t children that need our help,” she said March 24 as she unveiled plans to create a task force to work with vulnerable teenagers.

Hundreds of children of color have been reported missing in D.C. at some point since January, but those numbers aren’t higher than usual. The police say 2,242 children were reported missing in 2016, down from 2,433 in 2015. Virtually all of them were found unharmed within 24 hours; in many cases the children, who showed no evidence of being exploited by sex traffickers, had repeatedly run away from home, according to a spokesman for the mayor.

Which means many children do indeed need our help — and we need to pay more attention to the home lives that they might be running away from.

Rates of reported child abuse are disproportionately high for black children. According to the Justice Department , black children ages 12 to 19 are “three times more likely to be victims of reported child abuse or neglect.” As many as 7,354 young people ages 12 to 24, most of them black, experience homelessness each year in D.C., and more than 2 million children nationwide do. In one national survey, nearly half reported intense conflict, neglect or physical harm by a family member as a major factor in their homelessness. Others experienced family instability due to unaffordable housing, or left the juvenile-justice system or the foster-care system without enough education or support to make it on their own. Research from the Administration for Children and Families shows that up to 42 percent of runaway and homeless youth are sexually abused before they leave their homes.

Black children are also disproportionately likely to suffer treatment at home that’s so bad that they want to flee. In 2015, black kids had the highest rate of abuse and neglect, at 14.5 per 1,000 children, compared with 8.1 per 1,000 for white children, according to the Children’s Bureau, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 3,600 black children in the United States have died as a result of maltreatment in the past decade, a rate three times higher than for all other racial groups. Suicide rates among elementary-age black children have nearly doubled since the 1990s, while the rates for white children have fallen, according to a 2015 report from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A disturbing number of children in D.C. and elsewhere are gambling that life on the street could not be worse than their abusive homes. I made the same choice in 1987 and in 1991 while growing up in Trenton, N.J.

I ran away from my adoptive family when I was 9 and again when I was 12. After the second time, I refused to go back, and I ended up yet another black child in New Jersey’s foster-care system. A warm bed and steady meals in my adoptive home were not worth constant “whuppings” and verbal abuse — which my adoptive parents and the wider black community said were love, discipline and protection from the police or white racists. I felt safer on my own, even if that meant living on the street. From age 12 to 14, I was shuttled between foster homes, youth shelters and group homes, until I was fortunate enough to win an academic scholarship to the Lawrenceville Prep School. So I understand where many of these kids are coming from.

My own experiences helped shape my role as an advocate for children, and it’s painful to see how common such abuse still is in my community. Without question, the toughest part of my work is convincing black people that a “no hitting” zone at home is crucial to helping children feel and be safe. Whupping kids is not “a black thing.” But parents argue that without whuppings, their children will end up in prison, even though we’ve been having national conversations about mass incarceration for decades. They cherry-pick Old Testament scriptures to justify hitting. They argue that there’s a difference between spanking and abuse, as if a child’s body experiences pain differently based on what parents call a swat or the intent behind it. And many people proclaim that they were whupped as children and “turned out fine,” even though they’ve grown up to see striking a child’s body as normal behavior. It’s a violent, unnecessary parenting practice planted in our culture through colonialism, slavery, forced indoctrination into Christianity and centuries of racial trauma.

If we are going to talk about missing children in D.C., we must look at beating kids as one of the root issues. Yes, sex trafficking does happen, and yes, the types of children who go missing in Washington and other cities — mostly black; mostly poor; disproportionately lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer — are more vulnerable than other kids. But neglect and abuse are among the most commonfactors.

So much of our national focus on black children is on how “bad” they are: how they need more physical punishment, zero tolerance at school, harsh sentences from the courts. They are blamed for their own deaths at the hands of adults who claimed they were afraid of them. That systemic devaluation of black children even extends into classrooms. In 19 states, students are still subject to corporal punishment; a disproportionately higher number of black children receive it. According to reports by the Education Department’s office of civil rights and Human Rights Watch, racial bias contributes to this problem, along with black parents signing opt-in forms empowering teachers and administrators to hit their children.

These messages have consequences. When black children are constantly told that they are a problem, that they are unworthy and undeserving of empathy and kindness, that they can be beaten in schools, in the streets, by cops and by the people who love them, running away from home doesn’t seem like such an extreme choice. If home so often isn’t a safe haven, should we be surprised?…Read the Rest Here

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

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The Continuing Role of HBCUs

HBCUs percentage of college graduates is dropping. However, HBCU graduates still make up about 50-60% of those students matriculating to graduate studies in the STEM Fields.

One of the major issues with HBCUs has been graduation percentage. On average only about 35%. Spelman, Howard, Hampton, Morehouse, and Fisk are the only HBCUs with graduation rates above 50%. Despite issues the top HBCUs are graduating people competitive with anyone from the non-HBCU Universities in their fields.

Black Colleges Might Be Struggling, but Their Alums Are Thriving

African Americans who graduated from majority-minority colleges feel more professionally and personally fulfilled than their peers who attended predominantly white schools.

Anyone who has spoken with alums of a historically black college or university (HBCU) can attest, they really love their schools. Whether it’s the swarms of current and former students who travel to attend homecomings year after year, the (mostly) friendly competition among schools, or just the ferociousness with which grads defend and promote their alma maters, there’s something about most HBCUs that inspires intense loyalty.

A new poll from Gallup and Purdue University might help explain why.

The “Quad” at Howard University

The report takes a look at the post-graduation outcomes of a broad sampling of American college graduates to determine how they measured their own well-being, defined as physical health, social relationships, finances, goal achievement, and community engagement. The researchers then categorized individuals as either thriving, struggling, or suffering in each area. The method is highly subjective, but there were some noticeable differences, especially when it came to black college graduates: Graduates of HBCUs ranked their well-being higher in all five areas than their black peers who attended predominantly white institutions. Additionally, HBCU alums were more likely to say that they’re engaged and fulfilled at work and ranked significantly higher in measures of financial success and fulfillment than black grads who went to other schools.

This achievement is notable for HBCUs given the struggles that black Americans continue to face when it comes to completing college and finding gainful employment afterward, compared to graduates of other ethnicities. Black students are less likely than other ethnicities to complete a bachelor’s degree within six years. They also have a higher unemployment rate after graduation. When compared to other races in the Gallup poll, black grads ranked lowest on every measure of well-being except for social relationships. Black women ranked the lowest in most measures of well-being.

Part of the reason may be the education that HBCU students received while enrolled: HBCU grads were substantially more likely to say that they had professors who cared about them and mentors who helped them pursue their goals. They also felt certain that their school prepared them well for post-grad life. These feelings may help help explain why alums of HBCUs are so much more likely (49 percent vs. 34 percent for black grads who didn’t attend HBCUs) to say that their university is the perfect place for someone similar to them, and why they have so much affinity for these institutions, despite the fact that many of these colleges and universities are struggling.

But the strength of HBCUs may also derive from another resource, one that lives off-campus, and that is a robust and engaged alumni network. The warm feelings that HBCU grads have about their schools may stem from deeper feelings of belonging and connection created at such schools, and that can help create a sense of kinship not only among classmates, but among all grads, which makes them more open to assisting and mentoring the students who come after them.

AKAs Step

As more black Americans attend colleges outside of the HBCU system, some wonder if such institutions have outlived their usefulness. Attendance at the country’s 107 HBCUs as a share of total black-student enrollment has dropped in recent years. In 2010 through 2011, these schools accounted for 16 percent of black college graduates, in 1976 to 1977, the share was more than double that. The schools have a lower-than-average graduation rate: about 35 percent for HBCUs compared to 59 percent nationally, though that’s in part because these schools are more likely to enroll low-income, first-generation students, a population that’s more likely to drop out before finishing.

There are other problems, too. Morris Brown, an HBCU in Atlanta is struggling to stage a comeback after losing its accreditation years ago. Howard University in D.C., which remains one of the most popular and well-known HBCUs has publicly struggled with financing and has been forced to cut staff and been subjected to credit downgrades in recent years. Fisk University in Nashville was placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges  until the university overhauled its finances a few years ago. With all of their challenges, the survival of many of these schools—once the only places where black Americans could get a college education—is largely uncertain.

But for now, both alums and current students aren’t hesitant about supporting and promoting the value of these institutions. I conducted a much less robust, more informal survey, taking to social media to ask HBCU alums if they had good feelings about their college experience. The answers were largely similar to Gallup’s results: People were mostly positive, noting that the benefits of their education were as much personal as they were professional…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Black Podcasters Replacing Talk Radio

When I saw this one, my initial thought was “Podcasting”…How 90’s!” However there is obviously a gap not being filled by commercial radio, with worldwide reach, and a low cost of entry for the ‘caster…And an audience, principally of Millennial connecteds.

This obviously is the author’s take on the best black Podcasts, and go to the site to see the rest.

11 Black Podcasts Leading The Golden Age Of Audio

You could say that we’re experiencing a kind of renaissance in podcasting. While mainstays like Radiolab, This American Life (and wildly popular spinoff, Serial) have driven the world of storytelling and conversation, a new crop of interesting, innovative, and engaging podcast shows have emerged in the last couple years. Among those new shows are podcasts hosted by black people who are introducing interesting perspectives in the still very white, very male podcasting world.

There are countless podcasts with black hosts on politics and pop culture that are changing the game, but below are 11 shows that exemplify the current Golden Age of black podcasting:

1. The Read

It’s safe to say that no “best podcasts” list would be complete without The Read, so let’s just get this one out the way. Hosted by YouTuber Kid Fury and his BFF, writer Crissle West, each weekly show features hot topics, listener letters, and a “read” where the pair cuss out everything from f***kboys to rude Best Buy workers. If you’re not listening to this show already, why?  The duo perfectly balances hilarious pop culture commentary with observations on real-life issues like police brutality.

3. Black Girls Talking

On this podcast, four intelligent and endlessly witty black women (Alesia, Fatima, Aurelia and Ramou) meet up for topical conversations on pop culture, politics, and race. It’s a simple but powerful format, and the ladies have had amazing guests come through to chat, including journalist Janet Mock and comedienne Charla Lauriston.

4. Black Girl Nerds

Black Girl Nerds fills a much-ignored niche in the podcasting world, appealing to black women everywhere who love all things geeky. An offshoot of the blog of the same name created by Jamie Broadnax, the show generally delves into an eclectic range of topics. On any given week Broadnax and guests may discuss Afrofuturism, Sleepy Hollow, cosplaying while black, and Jem nostalgia. It’s a fun, badly-needed reminder that not all black women are alike.

6. The Combat Jack Show

The Combat Jack show is the number one hip-hop podcast, and rightly so. Each week a wide array of personalities including Talib Kweli, Deray McKesson, Feminista Jones, and Marc Lamont Hill are brought on to discuss the latest in current events. What makes this show so great is that it highlights the fact that hip-hop culture is bigger than just music — it’s also political.

7. For Colored Nerds

For Colored Nerds adds another perspective to the black nerd dialogue, as best friends Brittany and Eric get together every week to discuss nerd culture from both a male and female perspective. But it’s not just nerdism that the pair focus on — in the above episode, for instance, they have a fascinating conversation about finding and keeping mentor-mentee relationships for black people in the creative world.

Check the all out,you may become a fan.

 

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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