This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
“African American Male Academic Success” was the topic of this year’s Urban Education Fund conference in Philadelphia on October 27, and will be the focus of a series of follow-up Saturday workshops in 2008.
Keynote speaker Courtland Lee of the University of Maryland pointed to the issuance of a December 2006 report by a “Task Force on the Education of Maryland’s African American Males,” commissioned by Maryland’s Department of Education, as an indication of growing attention to the issue. That task force unanimously found that “school, itself, is an at-risk environment for African American male youth.”
Lee said one key way to nurture promise among African American male youth was through stories of “African American men of distinction.”
Workshops at the October conference also explored male mentoring and leadership programs, single-sex schooling, and the role of hip-hop culture in Black masculinity.
For information on the Urban Education Fund’s series of sessions on academic achievement of African American males, call 215-877-4950.