Summer Break and
Black on Black Education
Exe. Dir. The Black Star Project
Summer break is coming to
a conclusion, Labor Day
festivities, traveling, cookouts,
parties, and all the fun thrown
in; the “business of education”
will begin for many schools
across the nation.
180 days of learning, 180 days
of educational strategies,
curriculum’s, differential instruction, ESOL, Benchmarks,
Common Core, reading initiates, state assessments
and the goal to finish another academic year
and on to the next grade or graduation.
In the United States summer break is a prized
American tradition. Grown from the need of children
to work in agriculture on farms during the summer
months. As technology advanced the need for children
and farm workers lessened. This significantly affected
Blacks, Latinos, Mexicans and other People of Color
because they were hired to work the farms of this
In the 20th and 21st centuries as the agricultural
demands diminished because of technology innovations
the educational structure did not change. Summer
became a special time of year for family vacations,
family reunions. The economy with unpredictable
flux has limited many especially Families of Color
in their vacation options.
Summer months are turning into missed educational
opportunities at an enormous cost.
Black on Black Education is a missed opportunity for
the expansion of learning in the months that
are summer break. The Department of Education has
shown the consistant levels for Children of Color to
be lower than non-children of color. The levels for
math are affected and shown that reading levels
affect success in math and science where high paying
careers are: STEAM is now an educational movement.
The mentality is that summer is a “break from school,”
thus a break from learning. This needs to change if
America is to continue to compete in a global learning
network where students globally are attending schools
year around whether traditional, hybrid or completely
online, learning is now year around.
Students are losing two months’ worth of math skills
each summer, two months of science learning and
even up to three months of reading, literacy and
comprehension abilities. Students of Color are
being placed behind the educational eight-ball
as they are released for summer break because too
many already are not reading on grade level and
struggle with literacy and comprehension.
This academic year nationally is seeing schools being
closed, schools being taken over by state educational
entities, students being bused again, the increase of
Charter schools, Home schooling and Virtual schools.
All these will have an effect on the failures or successes
of Children of Color. The key element is parental
participation; Parents of Color must break the course
of educational directions of non-involvement, the
dangerous practice of not reinforcing learning at home
and blaming teachers for THEIR child’s failures.
The budgets of cities are being challenged because
dollars are diminishing for education and increasing
Observe cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Jacksonville,
Chicago and others. Nationally libraries are closing,
learning centers are shutting their doors and tutoring
services once abundant are disappearing. Parents of
Color are not fighting, working, striving for equal
educational opportunities as they did in the 70’s,
80’s and 90’s. The dangerous thinking of too many
parents is “let the schools teach the kids, it’s not my
responsibility,” Empowering Parents,
These and other parental excuses are used because too
many parents do not want to accept responsibility and
do not want to be held accountable for their children.
The “March on Washington” is a “Movement not a
Moment” it should be continuous in its growth,
progressive in its involvement in education, politics,
religion, and economics. What happens when the
speeches are done, when the singing stops, when the
reminiscing is over and the MOW is over? So many
issues were addressed, the reality is nothing will be
achieved nor changed if Children of Color do not
improve their educational levels. Black on Black
Education by churches, learning centers, and
community organizations is needed.
Blacks cannot wait on anyone to change the failing
schools in THEIR neighborhoods. Parents of Color
are the FIRST teachers, mentors, role models and
supervisors of learning. Parents of Color set the
expectations for success.
The reality that needs to be discussed and understood
during the last days of summer is that in education,
Blacks have lost a generation of young Black men
and Black girls, too many Black parents are failing
their Black children, there are numerous successes and
great stories, but more needs to be done, all is not lost.
The fear is how many more will be lost the next two or
three generations? Education is and always will be the
key to People of Color success.
If this is not understood look at foreigners that come to
this country and earn Bachelors, Masters and Doctorial
degrees. They don’t settle on Associates, they don’t settle
for certificates, they strive for achievement and growth.
Those that are limited English speaking, after several
years have degrees and stable careers.
In cities nation-wide too
many young black men
don’t graduate from high
school: 39% of Black male
students graduated from
high school in Chicago and
only 26% in New York City,
(2010 The Schott
Foundation for Public
Education.) Chicago, 3 out
of 100 Black boys attending
Chicago Public Schools
graduate from college;
San Francisco, one of 100
black males qualifies to attend
a public California
University, the statistics show that grass roots
programs are needed. If Blacks want a change then
Black on Black Education needs to begin.
Seen in graduation data is that when young Black
men don’t succeed in school, they are much more
likely to succeed in the nation’s criminal justice
and penitentiary system. When a young Black man
graduates from a U.S. college, there is a high chance
he is from Africa, the Caribbean or Europe.
a. Teach Black boys and girls to read before
b. Enter Black boys and girls in activities that support
discipline and high self esteem
c. By third grade they should have a library card and
museum memberships with parents.
d. Provide positive role models for Black boys and girls.
e. Allow and encourage Black fathers to nurture and
spend time w/ their children.
f. Expose Black boys and girls to libraries, museums,
g. Control negative influences of movies, music, video
games on Black boys and girls.
h. Teach Black boys to respect all girls and women and Black
girls to respect themselves.
i. Black parents volunteer at schools and religious organizations.
j. Involve Black boys and girls in academic clubs and organizations.
k. Invest in reading libraries in the home.
l. Use technology to learn with not just sharing gossip or bullying.
m. Connect with other parents of similar interests and goals.
n. Have high expectations for success in Black boys and girls
o. Learning and education are not trying to be white.
p. Black parents get out of traditional thinking and traditional
actions be involved in schools in any way.
q. Black fathers get involved even if you have a criminal background.
You have a right to visit your child’s school.
r. Divorced fathers get involved at the school your child attends
you cannot be denied or turned away. You do have rights to help
s. Step-fathers you are a STEPUP so get involved also in all your
children’s educational and academic pursuits.
s. Black parents learn from the elders and their past experiences.
Don’t forget their wisdom and accomplishments. Blacks use to
honor and praise their elders. Too many times they are now
forgotten and ignored.
Black on Black Education: begins at home and is year around.
Think about what the alternatives are if parents don’t take education