Although the saying may sound cliché, but knowledge is indeed power. That is particularly the case for modern capitalistic societies such as the United States. For someone to get a decent-paying job, they need to have a bachelor’s qualification.
There are certain fields where we witness the black communities flourishing. These include sports, entertainment, and music. However, a common African American or a black community member will not be the next sensational celebrity or a professional basketball player. Thus, they must have some other plan to succeed and accomplish their goals.
An effective approach for this would be providing quality education to black students. The black communities have accomplished a great deal with access to education. However, the road to get there has been a long and challenging one.
Why There Are Opportunity Gaps in Quality Education for Black Students
While higher education is not the underlying cause of all equity gaps, it can serve as a vehicle to reduce those gaps. Equity gaps among students are based on their ethnicity, race, and income thrive and persist at many institutions.
Accessing education remains challenging for the black communities. The first step in closing these opportunity gaps is to understand where they start and why.
- Bad Odds from Birth
When you compare the socioeconomic classes, you find many opportunity gaps. A lot of these are driven by poverty. So even before a black child is born, the odds are stacked against them.
Also, there is a racial caste system where the back children are more prone to adverse childhood experiences. Such experiences can be traumatic and make black community members more prone to physical and mental consequences.
Housing segregation and racial discrimination both play a substantial role in black children experiencing these adverse experiences. Therefore, when we talk about closing the gaps, early childhood interventions and education are the keys.
- Hierarchy and Enclosures That Block Education for Black Communities
The structural hurdles and inequities start early on for many black children, and they persist throughout their life. Black students are often held back by multiple enclosures, suppressing black freedom. Black students in poor schools lack the basic understanding of the history of social policy positions, leading to black poverty.
We see the black youth who usually blames their communities and themselves. Self-blaming can lead to mental health issues for many back students. Learning the history of inequities such as suburbanization and redlining can lift some of this burden off their shoulders. Scholarships can also serve as leverage to speak up against discrimination and bias.
Can Education for Black Students Change the Inequity Dynamics
Higher education cannot eliminate societal inequity and racism. However, the education industry can take measures to contribute to the solution. It can advocate better support for early childhood interventions that encourage inclusivity.
Colleges and schools can also better train their educators. They can help black students get into the profession of teaching. Black students are less likely to experience disruptive learning under the supervision of black educators. Students need better access to the college prep pipeline and counselors to help them succeed.
Colleges should also consider the socioeconomic inequities in the students’ backgrounds and use holistic admissions. Many black students lack extracurricular activities because they have to work to help support their families.
When it comes to equity, we have to give the low-income, black students the support and resources they need to have equal chances of success as the middle-class white students.
At this point, there is no justification as to why Black kids have the lowest national averages in math and why as few as 15% of black eighth-grade students can read properly. There is no reason for undermining their abilities because of their background or skin color. Students from black communities deserve to get a quality education and sit in front of educators who believe in their talents to succeed. They deserve equal opportunities and a fair chance. And that can happen if the education system changes its ways and invests in its potential today.