Author Topic: Whither the Talented Tenth?  (Read 1446 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Whither the Talented Tenth?
« on: October 11, 2010, 09:35:11 pm »
from my friend DAVID EVANS:

Reggie,
 
A century ago W. E. B. Du Bois proposed a leadership rôle for African Americans with special skills, resources and influence.  He believed that these fortunate few were obligated by heritage and humanity to be guides and sentinels for the Black masses.  He described this elite group as the "Talented Tenth" and exhorted its members to use their social, economic and political leverage for group advancement in a society that didn't always differentiate between African Americans. 

The "Talented Tenth" has expanded significantly since Du Bois's time, but so have the remaining nine-tenths.  In a country where Black individualism is not universally acknowledged, the fate of the "Talented Tenth" is bound to that of the Black masses. 

By any measure college graduates and undergraduates are (or should be) part of the "Talented Tenth" and, in the spirit of Du Bois’s vision, should acknowledge his century-old challenge. What are the options?  If these blessed few and others with similar skills won’t lift the fallen standard, who will?

Our national urgency was revealed in a Pew Report last summer from which we learned that in 2008 only 47% of Black males in the public schools of our country graduated.  The figure was 28% for New York City and Philadelphia and only 27% for Detroit.  Given our technologically advanced society, there is little gainful employment for  high school drop-outs; hence, staggering numbers of the Black drop-outs will run afoul of the law.  Today there are MILLIONS of African American males who are either incarcerated or otherwise ensnared in the criminal justice system.
         
If the unsuccessful experiences of Black males in the public schools are not reconfigured and redirected, those experiences will be little more than conduits to houses of correction where many are housed, but few are corrected.  Frankly, far too many high school drop-outs who enter the correctional system begin serving a life sentence on an installment plan.

What about a G.E.D. as part of parole?  What about adjusting the laws to grant employment to convicts who’ve served their time and come well-recommended?  What about the return of the right to vote to those who have paid their debt to society?

"The lamb and the lion in us are asleep in the same stall,
Respectively waiting for the meek or the mighty to call."

Whither the Talented Tenth?

Best regards,



Dave

Offline Hypestyle

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Re: Whither the Talented Tenth?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 07:29:12 am »
Michigan spends more tax money on prisons than on higher education- http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/02/michigan_is_1_of_4_states_to_s.html

in detroit there has been an Emergency Financial Manager (appointed by the governor) serving as defacto superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools for the past 18 months.. some new schools are being built or renovated, many have been closed and are poised to be demolished.. classroom crowding is still a problem for many schools.. school consolidation has forced kids from "rival" neighborhoods to interact, sometimes leading to violence.. Bill Cosby and Jesse Jackson have come to town for events to promote enrollment..  http://www.freep.com/article/20100918/ENT03/100918004/Bill-Cosby-Jesse-Jackson-join-Robert-Bobb-on-Michigan-Matters
Be Kind to Someone Today.

Offline stanleyballard

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Re: Whither the Talented Tenth?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 09:49:00 am »
DC is not doing any better with our current Mayor Fenty firing teachers and having them arrested in front of their students who protested and were arrested too (this happend within the last 2 years) and then he hired a superintendent of schools with no experience as a principal and only 2 years experience teaching to run The DC School System- which has people with many more years of experience dealing with management issues.

One solution as a voter was to vote Fenty out and another one is that I demand that our politicians (Obama, Fenty, etc) place their children in the public school system or leave their positions.  If all voters who actually go to the polls and believe in the idea of democracy actually put our collective foots down and demanded this type of integrity from our leaders then we would truly honor our heritage and those that died for our right to vote and even be called a human being in America.  We are all equally responsible for our lives in this world and do not have time to play politics, elitism or any form of disaffected nonchalance.