It pains me to look at dropout rates among Hispanics and black people, and being from Memphis, I saw it up close and personal. Not much has changed since I was in school it seems; there are still people that you can tell are going to do something with their lives and still people that you can tell are going nowhere. However, now it seems that the kids that are going places are the exception and not the rule. I have never understood why education has never been a priority to black people as a whole. I can remember that as a youngster, I had to hide my report card from my black friends or lie and tell them that I got C’s, which I still caught grief for. See, it was always important at home, B’s were acceptable but you had better have a plan to make it an A. The want to learn and willingness to be taught, to me, is easy. I can’t understand how people can’t do it. So writing this article has two purposes: One, to get others views and opinions. Two, to learn.
I tend not to take the easy answers that most people throw out when talking about education and why we are failing. I’m sure that you have heard them all. The “single parent home”, the “bad neighborhoods”, “bad home life” and the like. I dismiss them all. To me the “single parent” argument is the most laughable. I have friends and relatives that were single parents and they were just as tough as both of my parents and their kids are well off productive members of society, so that’s not it. In my opinion, and that’s all this is, I believe that its just priorities. I could be wrong but I doubt it. Its more important for kids to excellent ball players than excellent students. For the life of me, I will never understand how people will but a ball in a kid’s hands at age 3, make sure they practice all the time, but not do the same thing when concerning the kid’s education. So to me its just priorities and until those change, nothing else will.
So how do we change it? The first thing I think we need to do is be completely honest with ourselves. It’s 2011 and we have to own the situations that we are in. We need to own it and then roll up our sleeves and get to work changing it. We need to raise our standards and make no excuses for not meeting them. We need that sense of community again, instead of the individualism that we currently have. While our struggles are different and I may not be in the same place that you are, it is still in my best interest to make sure that I do everything to help you succeed. What do you guys think?
Burberry Jones is a writer and blogger from Memphis, TN. To read more of his posts visit: www.corbinblake.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter @BurberryJones Send him a direct message on his personal profile: http://66raw.com/raw-community/membership/my-profile/956-burberryjones.html