When I participate in this wonderful blogfest, I usually try to find a subject area in which I have some experience, or some insightful position from which to anchor my thoughts. That limits me to a small number of subjects. I’m not trying to be funny, it’s just a fact. Sometimes, when I have an interest in a subject, I can do a little research and put together a meaningful post. Then there are subjects where I just don’t feel I can be taken seriously. Educating black boys is such a subject. What do I know about that? I know we seem to do a poor job of it, but I don’t know how address that subject.
That’s why I’m sharing this article by Martellus Bennett from the Washington Post, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
As mentioned in the article, Bennett played in the NFL for 10 years and won the 2017 Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. He’s the founder of the Imagination Agency and author of the forthcoming “Dear Black Boy.” He speaks on this subject with authority and from a perspective that very few people can. He also points out the math I have long understood:
“The stats prove I was the exception: Less than 2 percent of college football or basketball players go on to play in the NFL or the National Basketball Association. Just 8 out of every 10,000 high school football players get drafted by an NFL team. But for too many black boys, that’s still the only path to success that seems feasible. At the 65 universities in the biggest NCAA sports conferences, black men are 2.4 percent of undergraduate students but 55 percent of the football players and 56 percent of the basketball players.”
He wants something better for all black boys and, he wants something better for America. He’s not only speaking to black boys when he says:
“There just aren’t that many heroes who look like we do outside of sports. We shouldn’t have to imagine being “the black Walt Disney” or “the black Steven Spielberg” to think about going into movies, “the black Steve Jobs” or “the black Bill Gates” to dream of being high-tech innovators, or “the black Stan Lee” to picture ourselves as comic book writers.
We can begin to change that — not just by integrating those mostly white realms but also by allowing black boys the space to dream differently. Accept them for who they show you that they really are. When you look at black boys, see them as the future writers, composers, chefs, tech moguls, presidents, film directors, architects, illustrators or fashion designers that they are. The world is more beautiful when we let black boys dream big.”
He’s speaking to everyone.
I would urge you to read the article. Think about it and remember it if you are ever in a position where you have the opportunity to participate in this particular change.
The “We are the World” Blogfest has extended its year-long journey and is in its 21st month. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts: Sylvia McGrath, Peter Nena, Shilpa Garg, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, and Belinda Witzenhausen welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time.