Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Response on An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage

The WSJ article I included in my last email on An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage (http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903454504576486492588283556.html) prompted this spot-on reply:


I have received and read your email blast for the past few years.  I joined Teach for America a decade ago and taught in the South Bronx.  After TFA, I was a founding staff member at high-performing charter schools in NYC and Chicago and now work for a top charter school network. 


I have never felt the urge to respond to something that you have included or written.  However, yesterday you included an article from the WSJ titled, "The Interracial Fix for Black Marriage."  This same article has been a discussion point amongst some of my friends for the past two days.  As educated black women, we were definitely not surprised by any points made in the article, but it didn't make it any easier to read.


I personally was interested to see that you had included this same article in yesterday's email blast, but more surprised to see that you had included a disclaimer that it didn't have much to do with ed reform.   I disagree.  This article shows how far the ed reform movement still needs to go.  The article, which includes the statistics that 40% of male inmates are African-American, that there are only 900,000 black men in college as opposed to the 1.4 million black women in college, and that in 2008, 125,000 African-American woman were in graduate school compared to only 58,000 black men, clearly shows that there is an educational gap between African-American males and African-American females in this country.  These statistics are the results of all children not having access to quality education -- a quality education that prepares all students to have options for a better life. 


The article does speak from a point of being a black woman's problem.  However, it does not get to the reason why this article even needs to be written.  Why are so many black men (especially those in their 20s and 30s) in jail?  Why are so few matriculating to and graduating from college?  Why are even less making it to graduate schools?


I am fighting this fight for many reasons, however as an educated black woman and as a potential mother of black children, one of them is so that my children would not leave their peers behind educationally.  My ideal is for my son to not be a minority because he matriculated to and graduated from college.  And that he would also have a balanced number of black male and female peers graduating alongside of him.     


Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done.  So, thank you for sending out these email blasts.  Sometimes, when you are in the work and on the ground you don't always take the step back to look at the bigger picture.  It is easy to  forget that there are so many others fighting the same fight.  So thank you for keeping us informed and connected. 

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