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Unreasonable backlash against new ‘Black Minds Matter’ course at SDSU lacks tact

by Kemi Giwa, Staff Writer

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Many people like to think that K-12 schools in America are the pillars of fairness. However —  for young black men and boys — statistics show otherwise.

According to the National Education Association black boys are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their white peers, are more likely to be placed in special education and are more likely to attend schools without the adequate resources to educate them.

These facts make it impossible to ignore the parallels that exist between black boys and men, and how the less than satisfactory performance and treatment of black boys in schools, spill over into their progress in society.

For these reasons, Professor J. Luke Wood at San Diego State University, developed the doctoral course, “Black Minds Matter: A Focus on Black Boys and Men in Education.” The course was developed to address the experiences and realities of black males in education while offering research-based strategies on ways to improve their success.

“The school system is failing,” said Wood. “The system is designed to take two different groups of students and prepare one to be leaders and owners of production, while the other group, being black boys and men, train to be prisoners and members of the underclass.”

Despite the clear purpose of the course, Wood has faced some major criticism from individuals who suggest that the course incites violence and will encourage students, professors and administrators to participate in the so-called “political movement” that they believe Black Lives Matter is.

According to Dr. Wood, “This course is an affirmative statement of value for a group that has not been valued. Our minds don’t matter more or less, but they certainly do matter.”

Unlike the critics suggest, Black Minds Matter isn’t a class designed to indoctrinate, but rather to educate. This class will teach aspiring teachers on how to recognize the patterns of criminalization that exist in the education system. Once these patterns are recognized, they can learn strategies on ways to overcome them.

Ultimately, if educators take a different approach towards effectively teaching and motivating black boys. It’ll make all the difference in the crime statistics of the future. Which in turn, will lead to a stronger, educated generation of black boys.

 

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