parenting tips black males in college

Who Doesn’t Want Their Son To Go to College?

Posted on Posted in Blog, Color Me Educated

Who Doesn’t Want Their Son To Go to College?



Does your grandson follow your husband or their grandfather around?  From time to time my son will turn to me and say:
‘Ma, this s how daddy laughs.” Or ‘This is how granda’ walks.’  Or ‘Have you ever noticed how granddaddy turns his chin like this when he talks?’
We are fortunate that our son can look up to his father and grandfathers.  Thank God my son can look up to his father and grandfather’s as not only a model for being ‘good people’ but also for their accomplishment of graduating college.  Parents’ educational level positively influences their child’s educational success.   Studies have also shown that grandparents that have gone to college usually pass down certain privileges that are helpful to their children and their children’s, children.  Why, oh why do I stress a college degree to our children? Because research has shown that a degree matters.  Other things do too, but a degree ranks pretty high.  The numbers back me up:
On average:
  • A high school dropout can expect to earn $973,000 over a lifetime.
  • Someone with a high school diploma can expect to earn $1.3 million over a lifetime.
  • A worker with some college but no degree earns $1.5 million over a lifetime.
  • An Associate’s degree-holder earns $1.7 million over a lifetime.
  • A worker with a Bachelor’s degree will earn $2.3 million over a lifetime.
Just because our children have grandparents and parents that have gone to college doesn't mean they are guaranteed a seat in a professor’s lecture class.  We are well aware that we are not out of the woods yet.  I won’t breathe a sigh of relief until all three walk across that college stage with degree in hand.   For Black males the stakes are higher since Black females, while not completely taking over college campus’, are definitely on their way to leaving a mark.  Only 34.1% of Black males in 2009 completed a Bachelor’s degree in comparison to 65.9% of Black females.
Black male students:
  • Are often less prepared than are others to succeed in college level courses.
  • Made up only 4.3% of students enrolled in institutions of higher learning.
  • At predominantly white institutions have been known to hear racist remarks or have racist experiences (subtle and… not so much)
 This was recently evident in the I Too Am Harvard project.
black males successful in college parenting tips
Therefore when I see other successful Black families, I am constantly on the lookout for what’s the key? What’s the secret ingredient to raising Black males, who not only make it to college, but graduate? For right now we are going off of faith, comparing notes with other Black families we see and taking a bit of the suggestions below:

For the Big Kids:

  • Ward off any stress or concerns about paying for or having extra money for college by stacking up scholarship money.  It’s never too early to start.  Check this list of scholarships.  
  • Help prepare for college courses by checking out the types of AP courses offered  at school.
  • Start having conversations about racism – makes for good preparation on how to respond to possible racist incidents around campus.
  • Encourage joining social clubs in high school – this may prompt your college bound teen to participate in campus activities.
  • Reinforce college is the pathway to success by surrounding or pointing out as many successful college educated Black males as possible!!

For the elementary kids:

  • Encourage reading and read at home as much as possible.  Find more tips here on reading.
  • Help prepare for AP high school courses by encouraging high scores on standardized tests and asking teachers about an honors or accelerated academic track.
  • Have conversations about race by discussing the diversity of the world.
  • Point out the need for promoting equity and mutual respect for others.

Preschool and Kindergarten kids:


Know of successful college educated black male? Have one? Share their/your secret?

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