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Are There More Us Black Men In Prison Or College?

fasika

Well-Known Member
I thought this was interesting.



Are there more black men in prison than in college in the United States?

It's an oft-repeated claim that there are more black men in prison in the US than in college. It's a good statistic that apparently gets to the heart of the problem of inequality in the US, but is it having a negative effect on young black men? And, more importantly, is it true?

In 2007, before he became a presidential candidate, Barack Obama took to the stage to address The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

"I know what you know," he said. "Despite all the progress that has been made, we still have more work to do. We have more work to do when more young black men languish in prison than attend universities and colleges across America."

The statement was greeted with cheering and applause. It was a rallying cry for the activists in the room to continue their fight against inequality.

One man who saw the power of the statement was Ivory Toldson - associate professor of psychology at Howard University in Washington DC and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education.

He has used the statistic himself in one of his own publications, but became aware that the continuing repetition was having a negative effect on young black men.

"These are young black males who are trying to figure it out. They know that they could do better and I started to feel that a lot of the statistics that we were using were more of a burden to them,"
he says.

Despite this, the original claim can still be heard today.

"My last time hearing it was last Friday (7 March) at the Howard University Charter Day programme - it was the keynote speaker," Toldson says.

His reaction? "Here we go again."

Long before this, Toldson had noticed an interesting trend.

"I found that year after year we were gaining lots of black males in college," he says. But the prison population was remaining relatively static.

A close look at the figures for 2009 showed that there were 600,000 more black male college and university students than black male prisoners. The story so often repeated was not true.


But had it been true before?

The statistic was first published by the campaign group The Justice Policy Institute in 2002, using figures from 2000.

Toldson compared those figures with the latest data, and noticed a suspicious jump in the number of black students attending college and university.

"How did we get a 108% jump in the black male college population?" he says. "It didn't seem feasible for us to achieve that in only 10 years," he says.

He found that a number of colleges reporting a lot of black students today, had reported none, or very few, back in 2000 - results he wrote up in a recent article for The Root.

"The first thing that jumped out was that right now there are 4,700 colleges that report black students. Ten years ago there were about 3,000," he says.

He found a number of historically black colleges and universities hadn't reported any black students in the first survey, including his own alma-mater Temple University in Philadelphia, where he was a student at the time.

Comparing the reported figures with census data from the time, he thinks that the original figures underestimated the number of black students by about 100,000 - and that there were more black men in college and university than in prison, even in 2000.

The Justice Policy Institute does not agree the original comparison was necessarily wrong.

"I cannot verify if it was wrong," says says senior researcher Melissa Neal. "Perhaps if all colleges were reporting, the statistic would still have been true. There's no way we can go back 13 years from now and pull that up."

But she does acknowledge that the report was based on limited data.

"At that time I'm not sure our researchers were really thinking about the number of colleges reporting. That was not a limitation we clearly expressed in our write up. I recognise we probably should have done a better job of that."


She says that while she's pleased that the gap between the number of black men in college and the number in prison is widening, there are still problems that need addressing.

"The reality is that African-American males are still disproportionately channelled into the criminal justice system and they are still not achieving, or able to have the same educational success as their peers of other races and other ethnicities," she says.

Black people account for 40% of the prison population in the US, but only 12% of the population overall.

And, according to Toldson, black men still lag behind their white counterparts in terms of attendance at top-rated universities. The proportion of black male students who drop out before graduation is also higher than average.

So, he and the Justice Policy Institute agree on one thing - there is still work to be done.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21791038
 

fasika

Well-Known Member
I thought this article raised 2 very important points:


- Are the stats published about blacks actually accurate? Specially negative stats?

- Does repeating these negative stats hold back people instead of motivating them to do better?
 

BEAUTYU2U

Well-Known Member
I thought this was a myth. They're looking at a certain age bracket but referring to the whole BM population.
 

Southernbella.

Well-Known Member
I'm a big fan of considering the source and questioning the veracity of any claims made about black folks. The 72% oow stat is another that gets thrown around all the time but isn't exactly true.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using LHCF
 

LoveisYou

Well-Known Member
I thought this article raised 2 very important points:


- Are the stats published about blacks actually accurate? Specially negative stats?

- Does repeating these negative stats hold back people instead of motivating them to do better?
I think these negative messages do a lot more harm than we realize. These messages further the idea that black is bad/negative. If you are black and internalize these messages then you believe consciously or subconsciously that there's something wrong with you. Why is the black community in general inundated with negative messages when every community has its issues.....worth thinking about.
 

Southernbella.

Well-Known Member
I agree that the messages are harmful. What's most upsetting to me is that a lot of us parrot them and sometimes even defend them when others raise questions, accusing people of being in denial.

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Rocky91

NYE side boob.
The messages are especially harmful when not accompanied by information on the societal injustices that lead to these (questionable) stats. The conversation turns into "personal responsibility" and "why can't we do better" instead of critiquing institutionalized racism.

Sent from my phone-typos to be expected :)
 

Crackers Phinn

Either A Blessing Or A Lesson.
Well if there are more black men in college than was previously reported, maybe now black women will get less flack about wanting an educated partner.
 

ambergirl

Well-Known Member
I agree negative inaccurate data is harmful but before we start applauding this new info, my question is whether there still might be some truth behind the sentiment.

The current prison population is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to black male involvement with the criminal justice system. If you consider all of the young black men who have ever been in prison, jail, on probation or parole it's a huge percentage. And the numbers are worse in certain urban areas.

I still think there is a big gender achievement gap in the black community.
 

FrazzledFraggle

New Member
Question. I agree that the comments are inflammatory and most likely inaccurate but how are they harmful psychologically in regards to their affect on how many black males continue to go to college or prison? I'm not a psychology major so this is an honest question. I know that there is the general idea that if you continue to berate or belittle a child/young person that this can have an affect on their self-esteem which can affect their self-motivation and so you have kind of a snowball effect. Is that why we are saying these stats are harmful? I've always been the opposite. If I've ever been confronted with a negative statistic, I work that much harder to not become one. I realize everyone is affected differently.

Thoughts?
 

MrsJaiDiva

Embracing the Light
"The reality is that African-American males are still disproportionately channeled into the criminal justice system and they are still not achieving, or able to have the same educational success as their peers of other races and other ethnicities," she says.

Black people account for 40% of the prison population in the US, but only 12% of the population overall.


And, according to Toldson, black men still lag behind their white counterparts in terms of attendance at top-rated universities. The proportion of black male students who drop out before graduation is also higher than average.

So, he and the Justice Policy Institute agree on one thing - there is still work to be done.
This is still the truth. And this is only damaging, if we continue to let it happen! Where did all the Fight go in the Black Community?? The school to prison pipeline is still fact! There is still a Big Problem here! The point isn't that more AA men are going to college than in 2000....the point is that a ridiculously high percentage of Black men are in Prison. That is what needs to be fixed. That.
 

Nelli04

Well-Known Member
I always feel like repeating the negative statistics is harmful, esp since the people who hear it the most are the ones already on the right track.

I hate when the CDC releases their 'black women/men are 1000x more likely to have xyz" or some outrageous statistic, and they do it every year.
 

dancinstallion

Well-Known Member
Well if there are more black men in college than was previously reported, maybe now black women will get less flack about wanting an educated partner.

Apparently more black men didn't finish college because 6 years later I don't think AA/BW have gained ground on getting an educated AA BM. From our threads about BW settling for broke BM and educated middle class BW settling as well, me thinks we have went backward or gained no ground. :(

In other news I have attended 3 African weddings (from different countries) this year and another two are coming up in Aug and Sept. The wives and husbands are on same level or husband makes more, so no settling (besides the men being ugly, but most men are ugly so still no settling :lachen:).

What gives?. I know what gives but I would like ya'll opinions.
 
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Evolving78

Well-Known Member
Soooo this statistic must have be true because 6 years later I don't think BW/AA have gained ground on getting an educated AA/BM. From our threads about BW settling for broke BM and educated middle class BW settling as well, me thinks we have went backward or gained no ground. :(

In other news I have attended 3 African weddings (from different countries) this year and another two are coming up in Aug and Sept. The wives and husbands are on same level or husband makes more, so no settling (besides the men being ugly, but most men are ugly so still no settling :lachen:).

What gives?. I know what gives but I would like ya'll opinions.
I would like to know too, because I believe there was a lot of denial going on 6 years ago. I also believe people are only speaking from their existence.
 

Crackers Phinn

Either A Blessing Or A Lesson.
I would like to know too, because I believe there was a lot of denial going on 6 years ago. I also believe people are only speaking from their existence.
You hit on a valid point as the standard answer to these kinds of statistics used to be “not in my social circles”. Followed by the harnessing of e-pity that so many black women lacked bastions of black male excellence in their lives.

My niece married a college educated bm and one of my brothers has an undergraduate degree. So now, I too can dismiss the voodoo statistics of more black men being in jail than in college as hemoglobin and haberdashery antics meant to undermine and extinguish the collective esteem of the black community.

BTW - The first place I ever heard about more bm being in jail than in college was an Ice Cube lyric. Oshea said that as someone who attended somebody's community college so somebody better tell him he's been spreading lies about his peoples.
 

dancinstallion

Well-Known Member
You hit on a valid point as the standard answer to these kinds of statistics used to be “not in my social circles”. Followed by the harnessing of e-pity that so many black women lacked bastions of black male excellence in their lives.
Used to be? You play too much. :drunk:

Anyway At Houston community College I can count on two hands the amount of bm that graduate each year.

Just because they’re not in prison doesn’t mean they’re in college. :look:
You are right. Apparently more black men didn't finish college because you can look at the graduating classes and bm are scarce.
 

Everything Zen

Well-Known Member
Why they gotta be on probation tho? :spinning:

I know a lot of black men that simply never went to jail or college that are just underemployed and or not really doing a whole lot with their lives - the same stuff we talk about on here all the time (having kids out of wedlock, still living with their moms, etc.).
 
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