The Educational Crisis of Young Men of Color

The Educational Crisis of Young Men of Color

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, and Gaston Caperton, President of the College Board, have written an essay in today’s Huffington Post and calling for national focus on educating young Black men. You can read it here. Gates and Caperton co-hosted a webcast discussion of this topic today at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute. The College Board Advocacy and Policy Center’s recent research in this area produced a report, “The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color”, which you can read here.

GCP heard some additional info today from Professor Gates which we'd like to pass on:  According to the 2010 census, there are 720 black cardiologists practicing in the U.S.  How many black basketball players?  About 350. Even assuming that only half of the cardiologists are men, it is statistically easier for our young men to become a board certified cardiologist than a basketball player in the NBA.

Let's get this word out to the boys who most need to hear it.


  1. […] The black nerd.  Not sure if  people are saying the phrase “black nerd” more or if I’ve just been reading so much on Donald Glover (swoon) lately that I’m reading the phrase more.  I’ve always had a place in my heart for the social awkward, for the nerds, for those who become fanatical over obscure and typically inherently anti-social pastimes.  Like my old friend Miles Curtiss who is obsessed with open source software, community gardens, and playing really bad music, and throws susagefests where he and the boys pay dungeons and dragons.  My long time friend Derek M, who was the lone black kid in our high school, on the chess team ( I was the lone Latina), and super into Magic the Gathering (GIANT NERD alert).  There are the black visual artist nerds like my friend Derek Stewart and my ex El-Amin Asadi.  Ashley the classically trained performance artist, Jahi the cycling enthusiast (another word for nerd), and KyJah who once said, and it has stuck with me forever, “solving a difficult math problem can be as beautiful as finishing a great novel”.  All the black people in my life are some kind of nerds, or more accurately, all the people I let in my life are nerds, in some way or another.  What I am also getting at, is that black nerds aren’t as a rare of a breed as some would have us believe.  (Did you know there are more black cardiologists than NBA players?) […]

  2. dre April 29, 2013 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    As a black cardiology fellow in training, I can say that this article is misleading when it says that “it is statistically easier for our young men to become a board certified cardiologist than a basketball player in the NBA”.
    How many black students are accepted into medical schools today in the US? And how many graduate? How many become board certified internists?What are the chances for a black student to accomplish all? On the other hand, how many black players are in college basketball programs and how many make it to the NBA?
    One would have to be almost 30 to finish a general cardiology fellowship without taking into account the sub-specialty training that follows. How many students are prepared/disciplined to remain in training till age 35, with long hours and modest stipends. Cardiology is a rewarding career but entails sacrifices that the writer does not address. Our students are fascinated with the fast life and money that comes from music/ show business/ athletics. Not too many are enthralled about the cultivation of the mind. That is what Professor Gates attempts to address.
    Encourage black students but don’t mislead with false statististics

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