Destructive myths about young black American males have been whispered in our ears for so long, we all might actually be starting to believe it! It’s about time that we put these lies to rest by unveiling the truth through facts and statistics, thanks to Mashable.
“There are more African-American males in prison than college” is statement you often hear to instill shock about the incarceration rates of Black men in America. Now, we’re not taking away that African American men are, indeed, terribly overrepresented in the prison population. But the notion that there are more locked up black men than collegiate black men is ludicrous.
There are 600,000 more black men in college than there are in prisons, according to research conducted by Howard University professor Ivory A. Toldson. Over the last decade, “African-American boys have largely avoided the ‘school-to-prison’ pipeline,” Mashable adds.
“Less than 50 percent of African-American males graduate from high school,” is another fictitious tale. Are we just going to overlook the fact that the high school drop out rate has reached a historic low? Nearly 62 percent of black men earned their high school diploma in 2010, according to a 2013 Education Week report.
“The increase represents a 30% narrowing of the gap between black and white high school students,” Mashable adds.
You might have heard the “most African-American males don’t go to college” myth, too — don’t believe it. Between 1976 and 2010, the college attendance rate for black men rose between nine and 14 percent. During the same time period, colleges saw an 83 to 61 percent drop in white students.
“African-American adult males…make up 5.5 percent of the total population and 5.5 percent of the students on college campuses across America are black male students,” Mashable reports.
There is also a prevailing view that black college athletes graduate at higher rates than their non-athletic black peers. False! While some college coaches proclaim that sportsmanship and discipline on the field translates into the classroom, research does not back this up. About 50 percent of student-athletes graduate in six years compared to 56 percent of other black undergraduates.
Lastly, if you thought that black students have the same opportunities as their white counterparts, you are sadly mistaken. African-American students face the most barriers when it comes to attaining favorable circumstances, according to the Casey Foundation. Moreover, there are issues with the unfair dispensation of discipline that has been coming up more and more frequently.
What other myths do we need debunked?