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A three-piece suit and a tie would not have saved Trayvon Martin’s life. Urging black and Latino parents to “not let their children go out wearing hoodies” and saying that the 17 year-old’s hoodie holds as much culpability as the murderer who snuffed out his life is a dangerous line of thought. Trayvon’s hoodie did not end his life — George Zimmerman did. Wearing a hoodie is not a crime, shooting an innocent person is.
Trayvon Martin is dead, George Zimmerman walks.
Refusing to call racism by its rightful name allows it to continue unchecked. Let’s call this what it is. Trayvon was killed because George Zimmerman thought his skin color made him “suspicious” — not his hoodie. Saying that Trayvon was murdered because of his wardrobe choice is akin to saying that he is responsible for George Zimmerman’s decision to aim a gun at Trayvon’s chest and pull the trigger. Trayvon’s attire did not identify them as a threat, or a criminal.
Frankly, I’m not surprised at your comments. I’ve met your kind before. Growing up, my parents taught me that being black meant it was not good enough to just be “good enough.” I had to be exceptional, overcompensate with intelligence, charm, and a pleasant appearance to combat society’s preconceived notions of people of color. I excelled academically, honed my interpersonal skills, and dressed professionally at every turn to defy the gross stereotypes that would prove to still cloud others’ view of me. Despite all of this, to people who abide by the false constructs of racism and its byproducts, I was still unworthy of the values this country boasts, whether I wore a suit or sweats.
See, Geraldo, it’s not the clothes that matter; it’s the skin that lies underneath that has inherited hundreds of years of legalized discrimination that makes me an object of hate in this country. It’s the same skin that allows you to excuse the murder of an innocent teenager because of he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. It’s the same skin that makes every person of color a possible threat to society. It’s the same skin that apparently makes some children’s lives worth less than others.
Jackeline Stewart, A Hoodie-Wearing Black Latina
Jackeline Stewart is a freelancer based in Washington, DC and co-founder of LookAcute.com.
[Photo By Damoses]
Now that it’s common knowledge that Latinos are the country’s burgeoning ethnic group, and given that this group routinely identifies as white on the Census, it begs the question as to whether or not Latinos will go the way of the Irish and Italians. Will Latinos start self identifying as white, foregoing their culture or language, and remembering their heritage primarily via eagle and serpent tattoos on Cinco de Mayo?
Are Latinos the next group in the United States to begin to engage in “passing?”
We asked Professor William “Memo” Nericcio, Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences program at San Diego State University that question. Nericcio routinely analyzes the intersection of popular culture and Latinos with his traveling exhibit, Mextasy, and said the answer to this question is not so simple. The short version, though, is “no.’
First, he gave us a little bit more context on the idea of “passing.”
“Passing is the idea that if you are the member of a minority, by coincidence of genetics of whatever, you can pass as a member of the majority,” he told NewsTaco, noting that the phrase was coined by the novel of the same name. “It’s like they are masked, they can pass as members of the majority so they are not subjected to discrimination.”
In the novel “Passing,” Nella Larsen describes the lives of two women who are of mixed race, and the repercussions that befall them when one chooses to “pass” as white, while the other lives her life as an African American.
Nericcio noted that this had occurred in his own life in a sense, given that he has a Sicilian last name, as well as Anglo first names. The idea of “passing” is that you get to “live a lie in order not to suffer what all of your brethren are suffering,” and this is something that is desirable for the quality of life it brings, he said.
Both myself and Nericcio reminisced over opportunities — given to genetics and our names — to “pass,” that were not taken for hard-to-determine cultural preferences. But that is for another post. Ultimately, he told us that, given the current state of politics in the U.S., it doesn’t necessarily “pay” to be Latino — “there’s no reward out there for bieng Mexican, so it’s in your interest to become generic.”
But, when it comes to Latinos in United States, Nericcio told us there is no way that passing is can become an indefinite trend.
“It’d be nice to get the target off of our heads for a decade, that we could be like the Irish and Italian, it really pays to pass and be mainstream,” he said. “But the difference between us and the Irish and Italians is that they came over in these giant waves, and we came from next door. The next time the economy is booming, there’s going to be another infusion. It’s that contiguity that will prevent permanent full-on passing for Latinos in this country.”
Plus, Latinos have a higher birth rate, he added. So, by immigration and birth rates, Latinos will continue to be a growing force in this country, preventing what could be the inevitable cultural dulling for this group in the U.S.
To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National African-American History Month.
42 million - The number of people who identified as black, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, in the 2010 Census. They made up 13.6 percent of the total U.S. population. The black population grew by 15.4 percent from 2000 to 2010. (Source: The Black Population: 2010)
65.7 million - The projected black population of the United States (including those of more than one race) for July 1, 2050. On that date, according to the projection, blacks would constitute 15 percent of the nation’s total population. (Source: Population projections)
3.3 million - The black population in New York, which led all states in 2010. The other nine states in the top 10 were Florida, Texas, Georgia, California, North Carolina, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio. (Source: The Black Population: 2010)
38% - Percent of Mississippi’s total population that was black in 2010. Mississippi led the nation in this category followed by Louisiana (33 percent), Georgia (32 percent), Maryland (31 percent), South Carolina (29 percent) and Alabama (27 percent). (Source: The Black Population: 2010)
52% - Percent of the total population in the District of Columbia that was black in 2010. (Source: The Black Population: 2010)
2.2 million - People who identified as black in New York City, which led all places with populations of 100,000 or more. It was followed by Chicago; Philadelphia; Detroit; Houston; Memphis, Tenn.; Baltimore; Los Angeles; Washington; and Dallas. (Source: The Black Population: 2010)
84.3% - Percent of the total population in Detroit, who identified as black, which is the highest percentage nationally among places with populations of 100,000 or more. It was followed by Jackson, Miss. (80.1 percent), Miami Gardens, Fla. (77.9 percent), Birmingham, Ala. (74.0 percent), Baltimore, (65.1 percent), Memphis, Tenn. (64.1 percent), New Orleans (61.2 percent), Flint, Mich. (59.5), Montgomery Ala. (57.4 percent) and Savannah, Ga. (56.7 percent). (Source: The Black Population: 2010)
Serving Our Nation
2.4 million - Number of black military veterans in the United States in 2010. (Source: 2010 American Community Survey)
82% - Among blacks 25 and older, the percentage with a high school diploma or higher in 2010. (Source: 2010 American Community Survey)
18% - Percentage of blacks 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2010. (Source: 2010 American Community Survey)
1.5 million - Among blacks 25 and older, the number who had an advanced degree in 2010. (Source: 2010 American Community Survey)
2.9 million - Number of blacks enrolled in college in 2010, a 1.7 million increase since 1990. (Source: 2010 Current Population Survey)
11.1 million - The number of blacks who voted in the 2010 congressional election, an increase from 11 percent of the total electorate in 2006 to 12 percent in 2010. (Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2010)55% - Turnout rate in the 2008 presidential election for the 18- to 24-year-old citizen black population, an 8 percentage point increase from 2004. Blacks had the highest turnout rate in this age group. (Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008)
65% - Turnout rate among black citizens regardless of age in the 2008 presidential election, up about 5 percentage points from 2004. Looking at voter turnout by race and Hispanic origin, non-Hispanic whites and blacks had the highest turnout levels. (Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008)
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance
$32,068 - The annual median income of black households in 2010, a decline of 3.2 percent from 2009. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States)
27.4% - Poverty rate in 2010 for blacks. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010)
79.2% - Percentage of blacks that were covered by health insurance during all or part of 2010. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States)
Families and Children
62.5% - Among households with a black householder, the percentage that contained a family. There were 9.4 million black family households. (Source: 2011 Current Population Survey, Families and Living Arrangements, Table F1 and Table HH-2)
44.4% - Among families with black householders, the percentage that were married couples. (Source: 2011 Families and Living Arrangements, Table F1)
1.3 million - Number of black grandparents who lived with their own grandchildren younger than 18. Of this number, 47.6 percent were also responsible for their care. (Source: 2010 American Community Survey)
$135.7 billion - Receipts for black-owned businesses in 2007, up 53.1 percent from 2002. The number of black-owned businesses totaled 1.9 million in 2007, up 60.5 percent. (Source: 2007 Survey of Business Owners)
37.7% - Percentage of black-owned businesses in 2007 in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance and personal and laundry services. (Source: 2007 Survey of Business Owners)
10.6% - Percentage of businesses in New York in 2007 that were black-owned, which led all states or state-equivalents. Georgia and Florida followed, at 9.6 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively. (Source: 2007 Survey of Business Owners)
[Photo By bamalibrarylady]
Mun2 TV created a very compelling video filled with interviews from afro-Latinos discussing their trials and tribulations with living in a world that tries to force them to “choose” between being Latino or black.
The 10-minute video includes interviews with: Tatyana Ali (“Fresh Prince of Bel Air”), Gina Torres (“Suits, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”) and Judy Reyes (“Scrubs”), musicians Christina Milian (“Dip it Low”) and Kat DeLuna (“Whine Up”), and journalist Soledad O’Brien (CNN).
Most interviewees said the same thing: they had no problem with their identity — it seems to be everyone else who does. The video is definitely worth a watch and there’s bound to be a chance for you either to relate or learn something new.
One of the things I’ve learned from my relationship with my African-American boyfriend is that there are people who:
- are truly accepting of others’ choices
- think it’s wrong, or
- aren’t openly against it but say hurtful things as jokes. (Unfortunately that is what bothers me the most and it happens almost every day.)
According to a recent Gallup poll of 1,319 adults in the U.S. found that approval for interracial marriage has reached a high point, with 86% saying it had no issue with it. That’s great and all, but what about the 14% who disapprove? Did they get stuck in the fifties? Their behavior could range from quietly disapproving to outright rude and oppressive. But if 86% of the population approves of my relationship, then I guess I should be jumping for joy.
Like I said, the most upsetting kind of comments are the ones that friends slip in during conversations. A co-worker I’d just met once told me I must have “jungle fever” once he found out who I was dating. Some people seem to think something like, “Well, you guys are great, but sometimes it just isn’t right, or doesn’t work.” And of course, everyone knows, “Once you go black, you don’t go back.”
For a Latina already dealing with underhanded racial and sexist comments, dating a black man apparently invites more of the same. But in a survey I have to wonder how many of these jokers would have been placed in that 14%.
The idea of a person’s worth is at stake in every relationship, whether it be by the couple’s parents, grandparents, coworkers or strangers. And interracial relationships are the most highly visible and easily judged. A friend of mine is a Japanese-American whose white grandfather was not initially happy with his son’s marriage to his Japanese wife. But he came to love this woman and the family they created. Otherwise, his judgment is not withheld. Apparently at one point in her childhood, this grandfather saw a white woman and a black man and yelled that it just wasn’t right.
The experience left my friend wondering at her grandfather’s hypocrisy.
If there is a silver lining about the poll, it is that when the question was first asked by Gallup in 1958, only 4% of those asked approved of interracial relationships. This is due in large part to the fact that the laws against interracial marriage and cohabitation weren’t deemed unconstitutional until 1967, almost a decade later.
I would think that the disapproving people in the fifties have either changed their minds in the past 50 years or died out along with the old laws and beliefs before the Civil Rights Movement. Progress has been made in many cases of oppression, but sadly this changes depending on who the oppressor is looking at.
[Photo By Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com]
As official Latino spokesperson (via unanimous election), many people presume that El Guapo would readily add the role of “Latino Sharpton” to his resumé – a dapper man, with great hair who appears from the ether in a sharp suit to right racially charged wrongs, be they perceived, legitimate, exaggerated or in-between.
You’d be right to assume that El Guapo would be the best choice, but he does not enjoy crouching behind bushes and waiting for racial improprieties – after all, he has things to do. His chest hair will not oil and curl itself, will it? His lowrider will not lurch rhythmically of its own accord and cruise the barrio.
But this is serious business. There is no adequate level of fear serving as a deterrent, enveloping Latinos in a protective shell. There is a blatant lack of impending public repercussion. No one fears that a Sharpton or a Jesse Jackson will jump out from behind a mailbox and shoot them in the proverbial knee after a racial infraction at any scale and then hold a press conference. The closest thing Latinos have is El Guapo’s arch enemy – Edward James Olmos – who, at worst, may simply shake his head disapprovingly from his Beverly Hills rumpus room and brandish a microwave chimichanga at the television screen at news of a proposed Congressional Bill aimed at mandating that landscapers work while wearing proof of citizenship like a Flava-Flav clock. This, not surprisingly, has proven ineffective at deterring insulting, disparaging, and/or flat out racist remarks and deeds aimed squarely at Latinos.
Latinos, due to disproportionately low (and then poor) representation in popular culture, need a public hit man or woman to strike fear into the hearts of the couple who finds it cute to speak to their Chihuahua in a cartoonish Mexican accent and those that say things that they wouldn’t possibly consider saying about any other group of people. For example, a no nonsense message (of the horse-head-in-the-bed-variety) needs to be delivered to the following:
- Virgil Peck – GOP legislator, advocated shooting undocumented immigrants from helicopters, like “feral pigs.”
- Massachusetts State Representative Ryan Fattman (yep, it’s his real name) – explained that undocumented women should fear coming forward if raped.
- Texas State Senator Chris Harris – scolded a man testifying in Spanish for apparently insulting committee members by simply speaking the language.
- John McCain made baseless claims that undocumented Mexican immigrants started the largest forest fire in Arizona history.
While many of the blatantly racist remarks and attitudes of the past are overwhelmingly recognized as improper, Latinos hold strong as acceptable targets. In the words of the wise Dalai Lama “What the heck’s up with that?” Considering the current xenophobic fires being set throughout the nation, and the fact the economic climate can easily fan those flames, it is time for the Latino Sharpton to press his/her three-piece suit, perfect his/her look of disgust, and rise from the crowd in order to be reckoned with.
El Guapo has reached out to Reverend Al and asked him to consider simply calling himself Dominican and suiting up for both teams. We eagerly await his response. In the meantime, we are actively in the hunt and are accepting nominations.
Your handsome and humble servant —
[Photo by Freedom To Marry]
Eight major metropolitan areas can have joined the ranks of minority-majority regions, according to a new study. Data from the 2010 Census showed that Washington D.C., Memphis, Las Vegas, New York City and four other locations, joined places like L.A., Miami, and Houston in having whites as minorities.
Highlights from the report include:
- Non-whites and Latinos accounted for 98% of population growth in large metro areas from 2000 to 2010.
- Nearly half of Latinos live in just 10 large metro areas, but those metro areas accounted for only 36 percent of Hispanic growth over the past decade.
- Latinos and Asians combined accounted for 60% of the population growth, though the latter community remained mostly concentrated in three specific areas, New York, San Francisco, and L.A.
Additionally, while the black population experienced growth in the southern cities of Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston, they experienced a decline in northern areas like Detroit and Chicago for the first time. The Washington Post, covering an area that saw one of the most dramatic ethnic shifts, reports that one reason for the demographic change is the aging white population in relation to the relative youth of Latinos and Asians.
Speaking to the Post on what this will mean for the local governments affected by the demographic changes, one analyst noted:
“What’s happened is pivotal,” said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution who conducted the analysis. “Large metropolitan areas will be the laboratories for change. The measures they take to help minorities assimilate and become part of the labor force will be studied by other parts of the country that are whiter and haven’t been touched as much by the change.”
Connecting this to an earlier story about an economically and ethnically divided America, officials in cities with minority-majority populations who have been hit hardest by the recession, should especially take note.
[Photo By Brookings Institution]
Zoe Saldaña’s career highlights, and the surprising holes in it, were highlighted this week by Allison Samuels in The Daily Beast. Basically was Samuels says is that, despite Saldaña’s huge success, she hasn’t been featured on a gajillion magazine covers like many other up-and-coming starlets. Why do you suppose that is?
It’s hard to deny that the massive popularity actresses such as Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and Gwyneth Paltrow enjoy is primarily fed by the numerous magazine covers they grace each month and not by their performances in critically acclaimed films.
So what about Zoe? In 2010 Saldana was famously absent from Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood cover, even though in 2009 she’d gained the distinction of becoming the only actress to have three movies in the top 20 for three consecutive weeks. One of those films, Avatar, became the highest-grossing film of all time…
This month Vogue, Bazaar, Marie Claire, and Elle opted to go with the tried and true in their selections of famous faces for their September issues, and that didn’t include Zoe. Saldana managed to land on the covers of special-interest magazines such as Ebony and Latina.
So what Samuels says, quite eloquently, too, is that because Saldaña is a black woman who is also Latina, she doesn’t fit into culturally “accepted” notions of where either black women (singers like Beyoncé) should appear or where Latinas (such as the lighter skinned Jennifer Lopez) should appear in our media landscape. Which isn’t even to mention the fact that any women of color are absent from our media landscape generally speaking.
[Photo By Crisitano Del Riccio]
The idea of an African-American 007 has been tossed around in the past few years, if my memory serves. “Bond 23,” the next installment in the long-running franchise, is on the horizon, but this does bring up an interesting question for society in general. James Bond — Ian Fleming’s super-spy famous for fighting bizarre henchmen, alcohol consumption, and romps in the sheets with numbers of women from a variety of places — is a historically white character. Bond also is an outlet for what many men want to be and have: fast cars, gorgeous women, and a life of thrills.
But these traits of masculinity are common in our society among men of different races. White, black, Asian, Latino, and many other American men are influenced by the Bond fantasy. With the change of societal demographics in the United Kingdom, the idea of an ethnic Bond should be tossed around, even in the U.S. the idea has been mentioned.
However, is it right to adapt Bond’s race to match the changing color palette of society?
It’s doable within the 007 universe. There seems to be no coherency among the franchise, save for a few films before Daniel Craig’s “Casino Royale.” However, one can watch “Thunderball,” “Dr. No,” and “Goldfinger” in that order and have no consistency issues — Bond’s appearance changing would be acceptable from that point. Outside of that, though, things get iffy.
A non-white James Bond presents a bigger problem for all minorities. It’d be the opposite of a step forward in media representation. Sure, if we had a black James Bond (or for us stateside folks, a Latino John McClain of “Die Hard”), it would put a minority actor into the spotlight, but it would also suggest strongly that minorities can only fill shoes that have already been filled. That we cannot create our own heroes and characters. The last message that minorities need to send to is that we can’t create a path for ourselves.
I love Bond, but let’s stop clamoring for a “black” or “Latino” or “Asian” version of popular characters and stunting our own creativity. Powerful characters that minorities can claim as our own can be made by minorities — and not by swapping the identity of current characters.
A white Jules Winnfield, an Asian Gregory House, a black James Bond, and a Latino Bruce Lee? Remaking what’s been done and putting a new coat of paint (or skin) on what’s been established is going to be a farce.
Dustin Mendus is an undergraduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He focuses on cultural geography.
Grammy winning singer Susana Baca is now also a culture minister in Perú, and she’s being celebrated not just for her talents in that position, but also because she’s likely the first ever afro-Latina cabinet minister in Perú. This is important in Latin America, just as it is in the U.S., because like many countries in latinoamérica Perú has a history of discriminating against people of African descent.
According to WorldCrunch:
Susana Baca de la Colina was mostly known for her suave voice and enchanting melodies played on the guitar and the cajon, the instrument created by black slaves on Peru’s coast. The Afro-Peruvian music ambassador even had international success. She was awarded a Grammy in 2002. But despite her thriving career performing on stages around the world, the 67-year-old woman didn’t hesitate when Humala asked her to take over the Culture Ministry. “I will be a minister/singer,” she told reporters following her…
But the symbol of Baca’s appointment also goes beyond the Brazilian example. “I think I’m the first black minister in Peru’s history,” said the proud singer. “Afro-Peruvians should play a bigger part in politics,” she added.
The United Nations declared 2011 the “International year for people of African descent.” The Afro-Peruvian community has given Baca its official support – an honor for the singer who has always been proud of her roots and fought for the culture of her people to be preserved and celebrated.
Congrats to Baca and to Perú, it seems like an exciting time to be peruano! Our weekly segment, “Bien Hecho,” highlights the good deeds and achievements of Latinos across the U.S. and Latin America. If you feel that someone you know is deserving of recognition, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD.
[Photo By Avotes]
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was a Puerto Rican historian, writer, and activist in the United States who researched and raised awareness of the great contributions that Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans have made to society. Schomburg was born in the town of Santurce, Puerto Rico to María Josefa, a freeborn black midwife and Carlos Féderico Schomburg, a merchant of German heritage.
Our weekly segment, “Bien Hecho,” highlights the good deeds and achievements of Latinos across the U.S. If you feel that someone you know is deserving of recognition, let us know at email@example.com.
During grade school one of Schomburg’s teachers claimed that blacks had no history, heroes or accomplishments. Inspired to prove the teacher wrong, Schomburg determined that he would find and document the accomplishments of Africans on their own continent and in the diaspora, including Afro-Latinos, such as Jose Campeche, and later Afro-Americans.
Schomburg immigrated to New York in 1891 and settled in the Harlem section of Manhattan. He continued his studies to untangle the African thread of history in the fabric of the Americas.
- In 1896, Schomburg began teaching Spanish in New York.
- In 1911, Schomburg co-founded the Negro Society for Historical Research to create an institute to support scholarly efforts. It brought together African, West Indian and Afro-American scholars.
- Schomburg was later to become the President of the American Negro Academy, founded in Washington, DC in 1874, which championed black history and literature.
- Secretary of Las Dos Antillas (Greater and Lesser Antilles), an organization that fervently advocated the independence of Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Over the years, he collected literature, art, slave narratives, and other materials of African history, which was purchased to become the basis of the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, named in his honor, at the New York Public Library in the 135th Street Branch of the Library.
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg’s work served as an inspiration to Puerto Ricans, Latinos and Afro-Americans alike. The power of knowing about the great contribution that Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans have made to society, helped continuing work and future generations in the Civil rights movement. We leave you with a quote that invites us all to reflect and, wherever applicable, take action and heed Schomburg’s counsel.
The American Negro must rebuild his past in order to make his future. Though it is orthodox to think of America as the one country where it is unnecessary to have a past, what is a luxury for the nation as a whole becomes a prime social necessity for the Negro. For him, a group tradition must supply compensation for persecution, and pride of race the antidote for prejudice. History must restore what slavery took away, for it is the social damage of slavery that the present generation must repair and offset.
[Editor's Note: The following is a release from The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.]
Nearly half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead. This jarring statistic is just one of many highlighted in two new reports that will be released today by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center at an event held in collaboration with the Harvard University’s W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research in Cambridge, Mass.. The reports, The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color: A Review of Research, Pathways and Progress and Capturing the Student Voice, are especially relevant given the need for these young men to attain postsecondary degrees if the nation’s economy is to thrive and compete globally.
The reports provide the most comprehensive data, research findings and recommendations to date to improve the educational experiences and pathways of young men of color. The qualitative research study, conducted in collaboration with the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), provides findings from 92 in-depth personal student interviews that are captured through video storytelling. This information is combined in a dynamic website. Together, these resources provide a compelling narrative that tracks the progress and pitfalls for young men of color from high school through college. In addition, there is a legal implications and policy brief that provides guidance for designing programs and policies to serve these students. Last year, the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center released a report that explored The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color. This initiative builds off that work.
The reports seek to give a balanced view of the educational issues that exist for young men of color across four minority groups — African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans — throughout the K–20 pipeline. According to the findings, just 26 percent of African Americans, 18 percent of Hispanic Americans, and 24 percent of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders have at least an associate degree. The reports also provide an analysis of the postsecondary pathways for young men of color and identify the barriers and catalysts to college.
“At a time when our nation is committed to reclaiming its place as the world leader in higher education, we can no longer afford to ignore the plight of our young men of color,” said Gaston Caperton, College Board President.
“As long as educational opportunities are limited for some, we all suffer. We rise as one nation and we fall as one nation. But if we keep working hard — if we keep listening to each other and to our students — we can soften our landings and reach historic new heights.”
“These reports cast into stark view what all Americans, unfortunately, have known for a long time: that access to education in this country is a right that not all of our children enjoy in equal measure,” said Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. “But the devastating numbers and the sobering statistics are a call to action through the recommendations outlined in this innovative report. Only with genuine and profound educational reform can we create equal opportunities for young men of color and indeed for all Americans.”
“As our country works to rise above the serious economic challenges we face, we must commit to reaching every young person in our schools,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “If we as a nation are to succeed – economically and as a leader in education and innovation – we need all of our students to succeed as well.”
“In the current economic climate and era of global competitiveness, there is an urgent need to address the stark and undeniable barriers that prevent so many young men of color from earning college degrees and reaching their fullest potential,” said Business Innovation Factory founder and Chief Catalyst Saul Kaplan. “By capturing the authentic voices of these students, we begin to bring the experiences of these young men to life in a way that makes their voices central to the national conversation about transforming the education system. BIF is proud to be part of this important initiative.”
Key recommendations outlined in the studies include encouraging policymakers to make improving outcomes for young men of color a national priority, increasing community, business and school partnerships to provide mentoring and support for these young men, and improving teacher education programs and providing professional development training that includes cultural and gender-responsive training.
[Photo By textbookace]
Seeing as how about 15% of all marriages in the United States are between people of different races or ethnicities, and given recent Census results suggesting this trend will likely continue, now seems like a good time for an online publication talking about the issues with which multicultural families contend. Chantilly Patiño, also known as the blogger Bicultural Mom, has answered the call.
On May 30 Patiño and a group of other bloggers will launch an online magazine, Multicultural Familia. Patiño said the site will, “address multicultural and multiracial lifestyle with special emphasis on topics such as racial and cultural identity, ethnic heritage, language acquisition, interracial relationships and multiracial parenting; with an overall focus on cultural awareness and racial unity.”
Patiño talked to News Taco this week and told us that, for her, Multicultural Familia is very personal. “I met my husband, who is Mexican-American, and we just got into talking about so many different things — about language, about race, about racism, and his culture and it was very interesting for me.”
Patiño later began to look at racial issues when she pursued higher education, but these issues became much more real when her daughter was born.
“My family is all white, there has never been any racial intermarriage before in my family. I have always had a difficult time explaining to them any understanding, so that’s part of why I started Multicultural Familia,” she told News Taco. “We are going to be talking about race and ethnicity like Afro-Latino heritage and mixed families, interracial relationships, how to raise multicultural children with confidence, and give them an understanding about race.”
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD
[Photo By DIAC Images]