Young African-American men need academic push, they say
Cox News Service
Published on: 09/25/07
Washington — Morehouse College President Robert Michael Franklin Jr. joined comedian Bill Cosby on Tuesday in urging parents to keep their sons out of the “cradle-to-prison pipeline” where African-American youg men now have a one-in-three chance of spending time behind bars.On one hand, systemic racism still hinders African-Americans in society, Franklin told an audience at Howard University. But on the other hand, there is “important cultural work” to be done within the black community — from rebuilding families to developing good character and academic excellence.
The culture must be changed so the norm for young African-Americans is to “finish school, get a job, then get married and have children,” Franklin told a symposium sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund.
A report issued by the liberal advocacy group for children said that a black boy born in 2001 has a one-in-three chance of going to prison in his lifetime, compared to a one-in-six chance for a Latino boy and a one-in-17 chance for a white boy.
“I am often asked, ‘What’s wrong with our children?'” Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, wrote in the report, “America’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline.”
“Well, adults are what’s wrong with our children,” she said. “Parents letting children raise themselves or be raised by television or the Internet. Children being shaped by peers and gangs and foul-mouth rappers instead of parents, grandparents and kin. Children roaming the streets because there’s nobody at home or paying enough attention.”
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