Creating African American Male College Grads: 4 Tips for Parents

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African American males are at higher risk for leaving college without a degree. While many Higher Education administrations have a great of work to do to ensure the success of all student populations, there are many things parents can do to ensure their African American sons are successful on any campus. 

  1. Attend minority or multicultural orientations or mixers. These information sessions are the first attempt to connect with minority students.  There you can meet staff that directly work in programs that provide support.

  2. Encourage your son to get involved on campus.  Not getting involved in activities outside of class is a number one reason why most students are not successful.  Students who are involved have access to influential people, resources and insight compared to students who are not involved. There are various opportunities to work on campus, play intramural sports, or join a student organization.

  3. Encourage your son to find a mentor through an upperclassman, staff or faculty member. A mentor is someone that can connect your son to resources and can motivate him to attain his goals. Identify and connect with African American staff and faculty members. You will be surprised at how many are open to mentoring students.

  4. Encourage your son to find a mentor through an upperclassman, staff or faculty member.  A mentor is someone that can connect your son to resources and can motivate him to attain his goals. Identify and connect with African American staff and faculty members. You will be surprised at how many are open to mentoring students. 

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Creating African American Male College Grads: 4 Tips for Parents

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African American males are at higher risk for leaving college without a degree. While many Higher Education administrations have a great of work to do to ensure the success of all student populations, there are many things parents can do to ensure their African American sons are successful on any campus.

  1. In exploring college choices, be sure to find out the options in specialized programs for minority students. Many universities have mentoring programs, student organizations and academic programs that build a community of minority students.  
  2. Attend minority or multicultural orientations or mixers. These information sessions are the first attempt to connect with minority students.  There you can meet staff that directly work in programs that provide support. 
  3. Encourage your son to get involved on campus.  Not getting involved in activities outside of class is a number one reason why most students are not successful.  Students who are involved have access to influential people, resources and insight compared to students who are not involved. There are various opportunities to work on campus, play intramural sports, or join a student organization. 
  4. Encourage your son to find a mentor through an upperclassman, staff or faculty member. A mentor is someone that can connect your son to resources and can motivate him to attain his goals. Identify and connect with African American staff and faculty members. You will be surprised at how many are open to mentoring students. 

Minority Collegiate Males Speak Out…and its the Truth!  

This video is titled “Black Bruins”.  However, you can replace Bruins with any American Mascot and it will be true for many of the college campuses in America. This video accurately captures the picture of the enrollment, retention and graduation rates of minority males. Its not a race thing, its human thing.  Research has proven that connecting with others who have similar backgrounds improves motivation and persistence in completing college. Increasing the number of minority males who not only attend but successfully complete college is not one man’s (or woman’s) job. Families should know and encourage healthy academic behaviors that help minority males overcome inherent obstacles. Faculty and staff should be culturally sensitive to the needs of every population. We as administrators have to do less talking and more listening to the needs of all our students but in particular those who feel isolated and disconnected.  Programs should be created to genuinely target minority males and not stigmatize them. As Sy Stokes said, diversity should not just be a word plastered on a recruitment brochure it needs to be seen in action. 

4 Lessons Learned from the Best Man Holiday

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This blog has been in the process for a couple of months (8+).  I knew what I wanted to share but didn’t quite have the motivation or passion to do it. But that all changed on 11/14/13 during my early viewing of The Best Man Holiday! Yes, most people will see it on the 11/15/13, but in my eagerness to purchase tickets I realized I can go see it a day early before everybody else would start gushing about it first. (Yes, I’m petty).

15 years ago I was 13 and this movie was the instant cult classic, especially for those young African Americans who were 20-35 years old back then. This was not just a movie. It represented entertainment that educated African Americans could relate to. I didn’t understand the gravity of it until I myself was a college graduate and saw some of the same stories lines play out in my friend’s lives. The Best Man is one of those comforting classics that I play at least once a month. So, when  I heard the rumblings that there was going to be a sequel I became excited. By the buzz that has been generated around this movie the past couple of months, I’m not the only one. 

Let’s cut to the chase…the movie was AWESOME! I’m not going to spoil it, but the writing was FANTASTIC (shout out to Malcom Lee) and the roller coaster ride was not only fun but it was filled with awesome lessons that my generation can definitely take to heart. I analyze things that most wouldn’t (which is the basis of my blog 🙂 ). So here is what I took away from this film.

Let go of pride. Being prideful causes you to miss out on the favor and blessings God has for you.

Holding on to anger will eat you alive. Truly forgive and forget for your sake…not the other person. 

Faith can make a difference in sanity and insanity.  Its the only thing that can sustain you when you can’t SEE past your situation. 

Know who your true friends are and hold them close. True friends will bask in your sunshine AND weather all kinds of storms. 

I would love to hear your view, so….go support a great film and let me know what you think!