Thursday, September 24, 2020


Article Index

IV. The Failure of Brown to Ensure Equity and Quality Education for African-American Males

Fifty years after Brown, the status of African-American males in public schools has only improved marginally; indeed, in some cases it has deteriorated. African-American male students are stereotyped as deviant, hostile, and oppositional. African-American male students are disproportionately labeled hyperactive and as special needs students. By the fourth grade, African-American males are on dysfunctional tracks to fail in public schools. In elementary schools, African-American male students are systematically isolated and segregated within the school. The isolation and marginalization of African-American males may be a motivating factor for the large numbers of African-American males who drop out of school and even commit suicide.

There is evidence that African-American male students may have different learning styles, motivators, and cultural differences which may conflict with the traditional method of teaching and educational models. Clearly, there is a major need in reforming our educational *14 system to meet the needs of all students, specifically the various sub-groups, which include African-American males.

In addition, economic disparity may further frustrate and isolate black male students who are not only placed in predominately white middle-class environments, but even predominately black educational environments which rely totally on a European model of teaching. It is not to suggest that African-American males have not made a significant accomplishment in education since Brown, but just the opposite. What is clear is that their accomplishments lag substantially behind the educational accomplishments of other groups. Indeed, African-American males' academic progression in public schools has leveled off, if not remained stagnate. Statistical educational data supports the fact that the graduation rates for African-American males are in crisis. African-American male students are missing in the statistical data that represents success and academic achievements. African-American males are normally listed among the most negative educational statistical data collected and reported. The following troubling educational statistics on African-American male graduation rates, dropout rates, suspension and expulsion rates, placement in special education classes, low test scores, and lack of placement in advance placement classes illustrate their underclass status in public schools.

Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law