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African American Males Need You to Demonstrate that You Care
|Posted By: Sherman Miller on April 25, 2008|
|As an African American college professor that specializes in teaching mathematics to background deficient students coming from inner city backgrounds, the key ingredient missing in getting African American males to pursue excellent at the college level is demonstrating that I care about their success. Once African American males believe that I care, I can encourage their pursuit of excellence and chastise mediocre performance with positive reactions. My average student drop out rate runs around 10 percent because I believe that all of my students can learn and they must convince me they cannot. I must appear strong in African American male’s eyes or they will run over me; therefore my persona is no nonsense is permitted in my classroom. |
Bottom line is you must change the paradigm from African American males assuming you expect them to fail to one where the expectation is that they will be highly successful. African American males are like any other students in that they will rise to the level of expectation that you place on them.
One thing I am starting to do is to lobby African American fathers and grandfathers who have masters’ degrees to return to college to get the doctorate degree, so we can have many African American role models with ample to time to be seen in many locations. I felt awful that I was the only black male getting a doctorate degree when I completed at the University of Delaware.