Inquiring News

National News

December 10, 2012

Why do Black Males lead the Nation in Suspensions?

More articles by »
Written by: marvin
Tags: ,

(Chicago, IL, Dec. 1, 2012) – Understanding what makes African American boys tick has challenged many a parent and educator, but youth mentor and author Kevin Todd Porter may finally have cracked the code on the struggles this group faces in the classroom. Porter’s debut book, Angry Little Men: Hypermasculinity, Academic Disconnect and Mentoring African American Males, examines Hypermasculinity among Black boys and its threat to academic achievement.

Racism and poverty are known contributors of negative outcomes among youth, but few have investigated the developmental trajectory that leads to academic failure among African American males. According to the Council of the Great City Schools (2010), only 12 percent of Black boys read at or above grade level by fourth grade, compared to 38 percent of White males. In some inner city communities, the Black male dropout rate hovers at around 50 percent or more.

Picking up where “at-risk” theories stalled decades ago, Porter examines two key developmental factors to understanding Black boys’ academic performance: Hypermasculinity and academic self-concept.

Hypermasculinity is “male bravado”-a boastful, sexual, and confrontational mindset and code of behavior valued by Black males and scorned by mainstream society. Anger is the engine that drives Hypermasculinity, a survival mechanism in high risk communities used to instill fear and respect and that is prevalent in urban classrooms.

“Education is way down on a list of priorities that might include drugs, gangs, chasing girls, or just trying to survive a disruptive home life,” says Porter. “Our boys know that education can offer a brighter future, but maintaining a street image trumps doing homework, studying for tests, and behaving in the classroom.”

Porter closely studied the second developmental factor, academic self-concept (self-esteem), among a group of at-risk African American teens and found that despite failing grades, Black boys tend to rate highly in academic self-concept compared with other groups. “Clearly, Black boys are not accurately understanding their own school performance,” says Porter. “They believe they are doing much better than their grades indicate. Furthermore, they tend to blame others, especially teachers, for their troubles in the classroom.”

Becoming aware of these developmental challenges is the first step to equipping youth to succeed in school and in life. A mentor to at-risk Black boys for more than 20 years, Porter offers his C.O.D.E model for mentorship:
1. 1. Help youth to connect to a vision.
2. 2. Observe and moderate personal behaviors.
3. 3. Practice self-discipline.
4. 4. Emulate positive examples.

For additional information, contact 1-800-552-1991, Fax# (708) 672-0466.

P.O. Box 1799, Chicago Heights, IL 60412.


About the Author




State Police Investigate Newtown School Shooting

Newtown, CT – On 12/14/12, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Newtown Police received a 911 call reporting a possible shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School located at 12 Dickenson Drive in Newtown. Newtown Officers immedi...
by marvin


Celebrating Good News in Our Community

Bridgeport, CT native Reginald “Reggie” Hudson was recently awarded for outstanding service as an East Orange, NJ police officer. Hudson attended Harding High School and has been in law enforcement for over 15 years...
by marvin


Hartford Police Promote New Deputy Chief

(Hartford, CT.) – Police Chief James C. Rovella held a ceremony on Friday, November 30, 2012, in the Atrium of Hartford City Hall, to promote five current members of the HPD to the rank of deputy chief and four officers t...
by marvin



Project Longevity

NEW HAVEN – Gangbangers be warned. If you kill someone the feds are coming after your whole crew. Project Longevity was launched in New Haven and will soon be implemented in Bridgeport, Hartford and later go statewide. Photo:...
by marvin


Hartford Hurricanes Compete In Florida

Hartford Hurricanes Compete In Florida – Get Great Send Off Hartford – (November 30, 2012) –The Hartford Hurricanes, a youth football and cheerleading team, comprised of 90% Hartford kids leave today to complete i...
by marvin