Black Male Underachievement : African American Males

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The lives of young African American males is under constant threat in the United States. “Only 41% of African American males graduate from high school in the U.S., leaving more than half of African American males between the ages of 16 and 19 unemployed” (McGee, 2013). According to McGee (2013), fifty percent of African American males in grades 6–12 have been suspended compared to 21 % of White males. Seventeen percent of African American males have been expelled, compared to 1 % of White males and there are more African Americans (mostly male) under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. Looking at these statistics it is easy to recognize the many hardships African American males have to endure and it also depicts the portrait of Black male underachievement at various points in their lives. “There is no shortage of empirical evidence to highlight the difficulties African American males encounter, including the realm of education and the consequences associated with being undereducated (McGee, 2013). According to McGee (2013), many educators oftentimes frame African American male achievement in ways that emphasize underachievement, which frequently leads to the misconception that all African American males, as a whole, are failing in school and in life without exception. Some research on African American male students shows that they are at least three grades behind Whites in

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