In Context



Children in the United States are said to live in the land of opportunity and are told anything is possible. In the United States, parents of different racial, religious and cultural backgrounds share many of the same aspirations for their children, but there are invisible barriers that keep some children from progressing at the same rate as their peers. This is particularly true for African-American boys, who are twice as likely as white boys to be held back in elementary school, three times as likely to be suspended from school and half as likely to graduate from college—a phenomenon known as the black male achievement gap.

Black males, even when given the same educational and economic resources as their peers of other races, are likely to fall short of their counterparts in virtually every measure of academic success. It is perhaps the single most pressing problem black males face today. In order to remain competitive in the global marketplace and create a space of participation and collaboration where people of all races work together to address pervasive inequalities in American society in a collective, non-accusatory way, the American education system must be revamped.