Al Jazeera correspondent, Tony Harris, returns to his childhood neighborhood in Baltimore to explore the reasons and some solutions for educating African-American males.  The documentary, “Educating Black Boys,” includes portions of various interviews of educators, legislators, parents, and black boys.  Not surprisingly, Harris explores some of the dismal statistics associated with the ever-widening gap between African-American males and all other demographics in the country, but there is one essential solution:  Black boys must be able to read on grade level.

This video’s interviewees share some specific ideas for educating black boys. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and President Obama’s nominee as Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, explains that all black boys need the following:

  • To be able to read on grade level
  • To be able to compute
  • To be able to stud
  • To show respect people
  • To keep his room clean

He wasn’t the only person to express the need for one essential core skill; all the educators interviewed for the documentary expressed the need for reading proficiency among this population, and it must happen early.  If there are reading deficiencies, they should be addressed early when there is more time to correct them.   Furthermore, they say that black boys should read well enough to enjoy reading and parents should do more to encourage more reading in the home.

View the entire documentary film here [47:13]:

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