A Black Parents Responsibility To Empower Their Child
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs
to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
The recent Educational Summit in Jacksonville, Florida
provided by Mayor Alvin Brown and his dedicated staff
emphasized the importance of parental involvement.
Teaching Engineering at a Title One school, a transitioning
STEAM school and conducting Social Media and technology
workshops for my community in Jacksonville, Florida I have
seen the power of technology expanding opportunities for Blacks
nationwide, the travesty is that Black parents are not encouraging
their children in the area of STEAM:
Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics;
Technology allows for the wonders of the world to be exposed in
many academic disciplines;
science, medicine, arts, engineering, space exploration,
examining of the world’s oceans also called “inner space”,
robotics and creates career opportunities for Black children
that were unseen 15 years ago.
There are careers present that allow a Black child to witness
the genetic structure of human beings (DNA). The ability to
clone animals and in the next five years if it has not been accomplished yet in some European laboratory to clone human
beings. As I have blogged previously:
“the engagement of technology allows Black
children and children of color to expand their intellectual
and creative abilities beyond sports, entertainment and the
stereotypical elements that society deems appropriate for
The expansion of Blerds can be made successful if Black parents
encourage and support their school age intellectuals. The world
has embraced technology to such a point it seems that babies at
birth are automatically attracted to shiny screens, changing displays and assorted musical tones of Smartphones, Tablets and other electronic devices.
This is an automatic affinity to the engagement of technology
and empowerment that technology can provide. Technology is
a tool to assist Blacks educationally, economically, socially
and politically. The challenge comes in the changing of a value system where Blacks create a paradigm shift from consumer
(purchaser) to creator (designer/builder) of technological
Malcolm X Speaks on Black Economics in this YouTube video.
National data shows that Blacks in activity own Twitter by the
enormous content shared by the billions of Tweets posted.
Facebook has allowed unprecedented opportunities to network
and share content, but Black teens are missing the mark in networking for jobs, higher education and searching for
Internships that open educational and employment doors.
Employers are becoming fearful to hire Black youth because
their online content is smeared with unethical behaviors
and questionable actions.
Events like the BDPA Youth Technology Camp:
showing how minority youth should be learning how
to use technology to their advantage.
The use of Social Media is being used by the media to
show the “bad” sides of many Black youth as violent,
educationally challenged and Black girls involved in
entertainment agendas that show them as sexually promiscuous
that no business will want to hire them except the pornography business.
Black girls do not help themselves when they show the
elements of Sexting to impress others that only see them as
a sexual object.
The power of technology comes in the intellectual areas
to obtain an education and earn high paying jobs that technology
can offer. An example is Esther Mbabazi the first female
pilot in Rwanda, First-grader Zora Bell, youngest person to
create a full version of a mobile app video game, the creation
of #Blerdology for girls, Blacks in Technology for
Blacks that embrace the empowerment of technology
https://www.blacksintechnology.net/ in many careers and Nokturnal Escape http://nokturnalescape.com/
showcasing the cultural and engaging side of Jacksonville, Florida,
there are many more.
The effectiveness of these and other organizations that
support Blacks in technology is dependent on Black
parents that want more for their children than just to
play sports, work on hair and nails, become a entertainer
and an athlete.
Those are still valuable careers, but 80 percent of Black youth
will not be successful in these areas.
Education and engagement in technology are keys to allowing
Blacks to compete in 21st century careers. To be taken seriously
in other avenues of economics, politics and higher education. Parents need to emphasis reading, literacy and comprehension, engagement of mathematics is vital.
“My alma mater was books, a good library….
I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying
my curiosity.” Malcolm X more Black youth need to have this
In order for Black youth / potential Blerds to make
positive contributions in this country Blacks must
create and value Blerds in inner city schools.
Parents have to lay the foundation for success, instead
of purchasing entertainment systems like Wii, XBOX,
etc, they will have to change from entertainment to education.
Purchasing educational software for their children that struggle
with reading and math. Access online tutorial sites where most
are free to use so their children can learn how to use
Microsoft Productivity tools such as Word to create resumes,
write introductory letters to employers, and complete online employment applications.
Youth need to understand the dynamics of
PowerPoint, where they will have to design presentations
allowing them to speak to groups (small or large) to Market their
talents and abilities and future entrepreneurs.
The additional tools of Excel, Publisher, Access and even
similar tools on other platforms like Apple. These will
help in allowing inner city Blerds to be competitive and
valuable in a technology rich society.
Youth must learn how to Market and Brand themselves
in different Social Media platforms that highlight their
positive use of technology. Exposure needs to be increased
to give a value to learning.
Listening to the DVD Disintegration: The Splintering
of Black America (Eugene Robinson), there seems to be a
growing division in the Black community nationwide.
The valuing of education has changed and how Blacks
treat the opportunities to be educated.
I see from my experiences as a teacher and a Black teacher
those that embrace technology and learning to better
themselves are prepared for careers that are high paying,
those that use technology just for entertainment are being
left behind as a consumer not a creator.
In order for inner city Black youth to be competitive and
contributory in America they must move from the consumer
side to the creative/producer side. A perfect example is instead
of spending over 100.00 on new sneakers invest this into a
online class to obtain a certification in some area of programming.
Educational programs such as STEM and STEAM need
to be supported and encouraged in schools. Using these models to
encourage learning and foster a thirst for educational preparation.
To show Black youth the options that really are real for careers
they can have.
The integration of STEAM Science Technology Engineering
Arts and Mathematics, in more elementary schools will
allow Black children to explore new areas of intellectual
growth. STEAM encourages critical thinking skills and higher
order rationalization that is needed in corporate careers and in
scientific careers requiring research skills. Knowledge of
engineering and math that even embraces the Arts.
Exposure to conferences, science fairs, seminars, workshops
should be important for Black youth to attend and for
school districts to see the value of exposing Black youth to
professionals in these careers. Education does not only
happen in the classroom, it happens outside the brick walls.
I complement my son a Junior at #FAMU, he recently attended
Maize Genetics Conference. There needs to be more Black
youth like him, both male and female. More Black youth need
to be exposed to Engineering Conferences as I attended with
Honor students from my elementary school. The Engineering
Expo of University of South Florida exposes youth from elementary
to high school to the value of a STEM and STEAM education.
The critical part of any successful educational endeavor is
the involvement of parents. Critical to valuing education,
the empowerment of learning and the direction of continued
educational success are from parents and their collaboration
with teachers and schools. Technology has opened up a new
period of educational and social evolution. Parents must be
willing to be involved and put their children in situations
of academic and technical growth.
Parents need to understand their part and get involved in
their child’s education. If they do not more cities will
close schools just as in Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities.
These schools will be in Black neighborhoods where parents
are not involved, seem to not care about working with
teachers and allow their children to destroy their educational opportunities. If Blacks are silent about their educational
thirst they will be ignored and moved from sight.
The words by Malcolm X ring true even in the 21st century,
“People don’t realize how a man’s (woman’s) whole life can
be changed by one book.” Malcolm X
The Gist of Freedom
Raising Blerds by William Jackson
Economic Education for Blacks by Malcolm X
My Quest To Teach Interviews
HBCU Kidz Event