How do we empower, motivate, and encourage young black males to continue to aspire and accomplish their dreams despite the turmoil they may or may not be facing? How do we create a pathway built on the foundation of higher education that redefines statistics and ignites change? “Am I wrong for wanting a higher education? Inside the class room why am I judge by my lack of knowledge on this particular subject? Isn’t that the reason I am taking the class?” Judgement plays a significant role not only in the life of black males but people of all cultures and creeds. Presently in society, black males are often judged not by who they are in the inside or who they have the potential to become, but rather by the neighborhood where they grew up. Furthermore, judgment is passed on them for the mistakes they made, or the mistakes of those black males who have grown up in those same neighborhoods. This judgment extends to schools, specifically community colleges. Which then creates normalized interactions with faculty, staff, and students. How do we defeat being stereotyped and the effects of enduring these biases? The lack of reinforcement pressures these black males into internalizing these biases. How do we make it so every black male on campus, including myself, isn’t considered “lucky” or “fortunate,” to have accomplish certain feats? Rather “deserving” and “earned,”? How do we address the flawed social corms and perception of these black males? My speech will address, challenge, and propose resolutions through cultural identity, leadership building, and showcasing that higher education is attainable. For the youth, having access to accomplished young black males who look like them and come from similar neighborhoods can be a testament of what they are trying to convey to the youth provides authenticity for the youth.
Higher Education is Attainable.
- by Zach Johnson