September 23, 2010
We, unfortunately, live in a society where there is a lack of appreciation for education for African Americans.
My mother always instilled in me to read and speak properly. So I have always continued to do so. But, for some reason, in elementary, the other Black kids would always accuse me of trying to be White, talking White, or always thinking I am White. This was a huge pet peeve for me. It used to hurt my feelings so badly. Later on, it finally stopped getting to me because I realized that those kids were just ignorant.
I definitely think it starts with the way a child is being raised. Kids really need to be pushed by their parents. Paying attention to a child’s work ethic in their education is vital. Straight As should be a must in households. That’s why so many White kids succeed — because their families push them in education.
Many African Americans need to realize that there is a profound difference from pushing their children in sports and pushing their education. Many Black people forget that we attend high school and college for more than just sports. These kids are trained to think that the only way they will make it to college is through an athletic scholarship.
African American children need someone to push them to be their own person. It is very difficult in today’s society for a Black person. The Black community is full of negative peer pressure.
Although African Americans had so many people to pave the way for them, racism still exists. Others still look at us as greedy, ignorant and useless. There are numerous Caucasian Americans who do not want to see us in corporate America.
African Americans must learn to value their education. Education is something that should be held very dear to our hearts. Our ancestors fought extremely hard for our freedom for this. Civil rights leaders lost lives for equality.
As Soledad O’Brien explained on CNN, “We need more positive role models who care about the education programs.”
Black children really need role models, especially Black males. There are already so many stereotypes against our Black males. They don’t need their own people bringing them down. We must come together as one and uplift each other.
President Obama is a prime example of making your way to the top. Many people even compare him to the late Martin Luther King Jr. For African Americans, there should be no such thing as quitting.
Although our people are facing so many obstacles with racism and prejudice, we have got to keep our heads up. The president is committed to the Black community, so we should make him proud as well.
Black America needs to value education more. Being branded — or branding ourselves — as pimps and hoes will get us nowhere.
Blacks in the entertainment industry are always highly relatable. African Americans of all ages often idolize these stars. People of color often are drawn to the fast-money tactics. Although rappers and some singers give to charity, they often flaunt their bad habits. Rappers always talk about how they throw their money away and give it to strip clubs.
They should definitely be better role models because they are branding our Black males. Most of their actions are degrading to the Black community. It’s almost as if they are influencing the negative racism.
African Americans must come to realize that many people overseas would die to have the freedom of education we have. There are so many opportunities for them. Unfortunately, the majority of us are ungrateful. Ingratitude will not get us very far.
There is a saying, “If there is important information you don’t want an African American to know, all you have to do is put it in a book.” Although, that is an extremely racist comment, as an African American, I can say that it might be true. We have to start reading. Reading is important.
So, why is there a lack of education in the Black community? There will never be an exact answer, but one can only hope that somewhere between all the negativity that has been presented, we can all come together and realize that we have come too far to be let down.
Kionna Stewart is a graduate student in mass communication from El Dorado, Ark.