Today, I’d like to share a story written by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu in the “Black Star Journal” which is entitled, “Have Black Girls Been Overlooked?” “The Black Star Journal” is the news and events archive of The Black Star Project, an organization in Chicago led by Phillip Jackson. Kunjufu’s article highlights alarming statistics about the dire situation that many black girls are facing as they are being educated in schools across the country such as, high rates of illiteracy, high drop out rates, and some of the highest rates of school suspensions. For many us that have been closely involved with working with African American girls, this is not news. In fact, I’ve blogged about some of the research that this article is based on months ago. I share this today not as an attempt to object to or criticize the President’s National Initiative to support black boys, “My Brother’s Keeper.” Nor, should this be considered as an endorsement for much of the debate in the social media movement #WhyWeCantWait.
No, I am merely a mentoring practitioner who wants more in our community to recognize how much ALL of our youth, including our girls, are in need of support, resources, and advocacy in ensuring that our schools are providing our children with adequate educational opportunities. Because if it’s true that only 18% of black girls are proficient in reading, then etiquette lessons, girl empowerment conferences, and fun field trips are not enough to remedy this tragedy!