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NDE are the national educational radio network presents special of the week from the series called backgrounder produced by Neil Bedford for WUOM in Ann Arbor part 1. Well during the entire time that I spent in the school I found teachers fee and especially female teachers really immobile every time a small kid with throw a punch at another kid in a classroom. You know the class would like halt the whole class if and severely emotionally disturbed kid referred to a white teacher as a white 12 letter word that deals with incest with one's mother. Then the home school would close for a period of mourning. This is Background a program of comment conversation and analysis. Today a discussion of the new role of the black male and implications for education. This is the first of two programs taken from a recent seminar sponsored by the University of
Michigan's schools of social work and education. Dr. Lawrence Gary moderates and introduces his panelists. Before I introduce the palace perhaps I will give some preliminary statements. I think most of us are aware of the black awareness movement and all the black power movement what have you. And I think not many of you are way out of the consequences that this type of thing are having on the university. But it's a difficult thing to challenge some of the traditional viewpoints. It's very difficult because there's vested interests. We know this. You have to pass your prelims. You have to write your dissertation. And the guy who is responsible for certain thesis a certain proposition a certain theory is on your community. You get on a committee. You know there's no black person on there. You have a certain language problem. You can speak correct in English but the guy still can't hear you. You can find his in terms of the scripture for example.
Where do you put Afro-American studies on American culture for example. I'm not even sure what American culture is. But yet in steel you have a department with the budget. You see then the admission area. You see the whole thing what all credentials what our credentials. It's a little game that universally people apply. And I think most of you are aware of that this complicates the thing when you want to get more black men in. So you see the black awareness movement is going to raise some issues that the university must deal with. And I think these are the type of issues that will make the university a real university one of some diversity different opinions different styles. You see we can do with some of these issues today. We do not have all the answers. I repeat we do not have all the answers. We're going to give you some viewpoints and we're not citing research about other people
before we get involved in the specifics. The specific implications from the point of view of education. Perhaps we need to deal with a historical perspective. Robin Williams will speak to this. He's a student in the public health and the medical schools. He's from Texas. Thank you very much Mr. Garrett. I'm hopeful that this dialogue will prove to be one of the better dialogues that we're going to have on the central theme of the black American in this country. I thought that I was going to have something that was somewhat of a radical departure from perceiving patterns that we have observed throughout our history of the black males behavior. But then after I made preparation I did my homework. I found that I was somewhat professionally made aware or perhaps made aware that this new role is none other than that which we must expect at this juncture in accordance with the prevailing pattern
of social front that we are witnesses and that the president had been extended at least on three occasions during past and recent history. By that I mean that we've probably witnessed a pattern during the period of enslavement are the antebellum period as some of you may prefer the postwar period to the Great Migration of the early 1900s perhaps showed us another. And then the pre-civil rights followed immediately by the civil right and the civil disobedience phase of course I feel that there's someone that hangs over all of these African American cultural heritage. I'm contending that basically the role for the black male is nothing other than that of a traditional role. Each of these periods that I've mentioned before have been characterized by the black males attempt to be assertive when he was not when he was indeed the dominant family figure
to be the vanguard. He's been the chief arbitrator of all that has been relevant to the black family except of course during the periods of enslavement and the periods of the industrial migration of the early 1900s. When we found him somewhat joblessness and these occasions have made him helpless. The latter that of the ration and the experience of joblessness made him equally as helpless as his masters had made him on the great plantations of the south by denying the black male any real authority as regards the family unit. The blackmail then has been either definitely assertive or has experienced temporary phases of being passive. It has been the plight of a black man to live in the conditions in this country of the worst sort. There are daily experiences tell them that almost nowhere in our society. Nowhere are they respected in granite the ordinary dignity and courteous is accorded
to the others. Since every human depends upon his experiences with other people for cues as to how he should view and value himself it will be little wonder that will find children who are consistently rejected. Understandably will begin to question and doubt whether they their families their friends. Other people in their group really deserve no more respect from the largest segments of our society than they're presently receiving. These dots become the seed of a pernicious self and sort of group hatred that become the negro complex debilitating prejudice against himself. Psychology of the black male due in the past has been manifested by the preoccupation of many with a hair straightening the skin bleaches and the like. They seem to illustrate to me the tragic aspect of the American racial prejudice that at last a negro had come to believe that they were indeed inferior.
It really doesn't matter anymore how we find ourselves dress. That is with leather coats or Ivy League suits. There are not or otherwise we find out ourselves reacting to the pervasive factor of race and that we're still not free to take ourselves for granted or to judge ourselves by the usual standards of personal success and character. It is still to some great extent the white man's society that governs the negro image of himself. Not every questionable new role for the black male its educational import. What does all this mean. Well I can say only at this point that we have come a long way and it seems that for those who have not been awakened they haven't seen anything yet. On the new role itself now just what is to be this new role of the black male in America we're going to ask ourselves before this some in our clothes can we see it as different from the
previous pattern. Is it going to be something that we've never seen before. Not sure that even I can answer these questions. Not sure that we're here to do so but certainly to provoke some thought on on this behalf. One thing for sure we can expect a swing of the action from the brothers of the ghetto towards those of us who are pursuing higher education and the major disciplines we can expect that the athletes and entertainers will also be seeking a little the action we should expect greater thrust from the entire middle class men who have been reluctant heretofore about losing their good jobs find that the days of the secure ivory tower for the black man is entirely gone. And if he is conscious doesn't get to I'm perhaps one of the brothers will. Thank you. Revive. Ah thank you. Thank you Bob. Now since we've had a few statements on the traditional patterns of male
behavior perhaps we should concentrate a little bit on the elementary school and I think most of you can understand why this is so important. Eugene Purnell who's from Alabama a doctoral student in the School of Education will speak about the images in early education. I should point out now just because we have three sons on this side it doesn't mean that we want to get to the north. These two guys are from the north. OK. Thank you dear. Thank you Garrick. I think when you said Alabama I heard I heard somebody say in a backwards step you know this is it. I really came north for a couple reasons. One is to finish completely education the other to complete campaign for Wallace noticing that this is really true. We're trying to get him out of Alabama the only way we know to do that is to get him into the presidential chair. Thank you.
I am not going to try to talk to you about any kind of statistical evidence about images and the elementary school. I'd like to really give you some some of my experiences are as I call them war stories. I tell you about some of the things that I found to be happening in the elementary schools as a as a consultant and I kind of hate that term because I found a new word or a new term for consulting the other day. The guy says A family had a castrated dog and every day a female dog would pass the winter and the dog with their clamor to get outside. They wonder why you want to get out so somebody says oh he's just a consultant. She said. I hope so I can just stay away from that work. But in the elementary schools that I've worked both here in the north and in the South as a consultant I found that there is one pattern that exists practically all over the schools and that is that the schools are staffed by females even
from the press blown down probably there's one male there and it's kind of funny because he's usually overwhelmed by the attention that he gets from the female students and the male students. Now many times as I've gone into the schools and spent probably two days there working I've found that I've learned all of the boys not only their names but where they were from and everything about them especially the black boys. And it seems to me it's nothing on the part of my personality but it's the fact that these kids are looking for an image. So I guess this is what I'm I want to mix in fact briefly about the reason for the develop in images down especially with black males at the elementary level. One of the basic things that I found in working with female teachers is that they it's that difficulty in trying to handle aggression both physically and verbally. I happen to have been in a school in Alabama that was recently integrated I have to define integration for you in Alabama means that we close up the black schools and we move
the population over to the white school. Are we moved the staff and principal from the black school to restaff it was white and black and white principal and some black teachers and some you know some agents. Well. In a way in this particular school they had a problem. They were talking about a satirical literature and then they asked the kids to transfer the ideas of the things that they learned into pictures. One kid who had an ingenious poster that had Joan a picture and the caption of it was some guy says bring us together I don't know where that came from but it's this was the caption of the picture. And the teacher told me that we can't put that up because it's fallen what he had done was to draw two pictures on his caption one was a white guy with a club and the other was a black guy with a knife. And his argument was that with this kind of politics that we had you know this is the kind of thing that he wanted to show that was a
satire on this politics. But in a way she thought that this was violent and we don't have violence in Alabama we have incidents so. We decided that his poster would not go up. So we found that the only thing way to solve some of these problems in this school was to restaff it with a lot of males and especially black males not guys who could play the role of the heavy. But guys who could accept aggression. To help rechannel the type of aggression guys who would accept verbal and if physical aggression did occur then these guys who were they felt good enough about themselves to try to at least accept that they wouldn't become a mobile as did the females. So I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that one of the new roles I see is males getting into the elementary school trying to channel or E channel aggression that is surely to come. And not saying to the kid you know be a nice little boy. I think the other area of the problem is the
overprotectiveness and teachers especially in females. I've seen black kids coming to the school from homes where a parent what. Just food for him if it was possible they were over Fayette they were over close. You know the kind of mother who would like to drive with the hood off a car so she could watch the engine. And then go into a classroom where you have that same kind of teacher and you know they really they never develop an ego of their own they're always living on a bar you go. They're the kinds of kids who would be satisfied with a magical explanation oh you know like where babies come from or something that nature so. So here we have another way to castrate it. Black male child I think that males that I've worked with in elementary schools tend not to over protect kids. And that's some of this problem is alleviated. I think the next thing is I guess by this time you think I'm a woman hater but I'm really not
really. Females teachers sometime attempt to mold kids into what they feel that they should be. I want to disclose. I was standing talking with a teacher in a gym when a kid hanging from a parallel bars by a snake a bison legs fell you know in this neck you know and she ran over to him and he was crying and she said to him don't cry you know men don't cry. You know and I wanted to say to her Why don't you go home and close your husband's finger up in your car go and see what happened you know. So he really crisis. I think this kind of attitude is special to black kids. We have to re channel this kind of thing. I know it as an elementary kid. My teacher used to tell me you know she was developing me for middle class black and she said that you know gentlemen don't fight to get the word got out that I didn't fight my kids wore my nose out. And I think this this is some are things that men don't. I think many of the classrooms where we've had behavior problems have come from the fact that many of the teachers have said things to kids like go to the bathroom and call me a nappy hair or clean your fingernails
and this kind of thing. And they have just kind of they would sit there and say I'm going to wait until you grow up you know to boys who who are quite action oriented. But the girls who sit there you know the cute little girl who has clean fingernails clean. They're the ones who get the attention and I think that and then they have a tendency to wonder why they can't develop a more interpersonal relationship with those kids. Like boys especially. But I think that with black men we don't have this kind of hang up. I think the next role I see is a new role for black males and that is in the administration field. Now if you look at ministration and a principal I think one who kids refer to as a strong black male who is able to make policy is who is not a tool. And I kept that in quotation on Agent. He's high premium and this never done no meet at the office of a principal was so important in elementary school until I had the chance to work in another. This is a real funny story. In Alabama we had a
share of who was you know he was really. Well there's one area in Alabama not where I'm from but it's an area that has a lot of illicit bootleg and you know goes on the sheriff in search of this was dispatched by a bootleg moonshine his bullet and a good governor saw fit to point appoint his wife to serve out the tenue. It worked out real fine. And then somebody got the idea that you know her term ran out that she should be principal of this black school with these kids. Now most of these kids at this school had seen this lady as a. You know the heavy somebody who would break into homes you know in the search season destroying the rest mission and all of a sudden one day it pops up that she's principal of a school you know in the third grade as well ask me things like the she bring a gun to school you know and stuff like this. But I really don't know you know but we had all kind of problems all kind of behavior problems. And in talking to kids the things I would ask is you know what's happening. And they would say like we you know we know she's the sheriff and we got to be ready for
it's you know and so we had all kind of problems and I think this basically stemmed from the administration's point. So I see a good role here for black males. New role now from the curriculum side. I also see strong males that as entering into a classroom where there's been a lot of negligence in trying to put black people in their proper place in history. Now if this is not done in a textbook I think in Detroit they've done something about it could have had a riot there and I guess you have to have have to have a riot before you can do things like this. But I see males is going in and supplementing materials that are in the school for these kids by talking about the black heroes. We do have black heroes and I think this is is very evident. But I think it has to get into the school. And I'm not suggesting that the systems are not doing this but I have to be in a classroom where sister was teaching a course in American history. Whatever that is and she was one of the kids want to talk about Detroit riots you know it in conjunction with the American
revolutions she says no we're not going to talk about that. Well now maybe that was a no no lesson plan. But I think there are repressive elements that underline both the American Revolution and the Detroit writes and Hell I can't see why we can't talk about them at least I'm not suggesting that we go in and teach kids elementary Molla to have cocktail making but I think these things could be talked about. I think even in the elementary schools where I work even the aides that there they are selected on the basis of their sex. They have to be women. So I think the point that I'm trying to make is that males can get involved and at the elementary level it seems to be a crucial thing. So I think that my whole point is that the black male does have a new role and this role should include education and preferably at the elementary level because it's here that black males need a pattern some kind of pattern of behavior that will help them to develop a real black identity. Thank you thank you.
Thank you. Thank you Jeanne. Jeanne spent a lot of time on the elementary school and I think you see when you look at it and close why that his emphasis is more on system kinds of changes rather than on individual change. And this is something that the professionals going to have to learn that there are certain kinds of scratches you can manipulate. You can find other kinds of implication from what he was say. I remember my situation and Ohio where this is a study I did on the referrals. And what was happening in one particular school classroom was that the model behavior was the white girl and everybody else had to conform to this kind of behavior. Well you can see automatically the kind of problem that a
black male would run into. So naturally what happens. And this teacher was. Some even aware that the girls were setting the standards. You see this is in terms of behavior so what they do is what the guys all like guys first black girls next and then white boys this is where the referral thing was and I think this is something you really have to watch. Enough on the elementary school perhaps Let's talk about the high school system and the university from the point of view of the peer group Squire Paget who's a recent graduate of Harvard Law School will speak of contemporary education and conflict created from the black male line. Thank you Professor Gary. First some description of the conflict and I can concentrate on the circumstances that before the blackmail and attempting to seek an higher education in a setting such as the University of Michigan. The problem occurs in part because of preconceived notions about what college or graduate school is going to be like
and partially because of the strong influence the black peer group has had and shaping the black males lifestyle. I would also like to note that this is not a criticism but the verbalization of the situation created and perpetuated by the university environment. I find the conflict to be say upon the admittance to the University of Michigan one finds that he no longer has the security of the peer group that is related to since childhood. Also most behavior acquired by this peer group is out of place or actually frowned upon in the university environment. OK what results is usually some kind of traumatic mental physical and emotional adjustment that creates within the black a feeling of Usually frustration. I had a minute and a loss of self confidence and the sad fact is this usually used to say failure or dismissal for many. So what happens usually by the time we get to be say a lot of part of our sophomore year or
junior year we. Experience some kind of. We go through an experience which I call the results and the results is the experiences the varied attempts to rationalize and deal with the problem. What results is roughly definable into three divisible groups or blong among black males on campus and say most of my observations have been done on these campus and these usually break down into say I ain't going to change the situation oriented group. And when I also call as a sellout. OK first in the I ain't going to change crowd the group is characterized by I refuse to change speech patterns and peer group mannerisms vs usually the hip walk. Then a materialistic displays of clothing such as leather coats and I don't think I need to go on. Second is the
most these people are skilled in most or most of recent dances and most of the other in group behavior of a particular moment. Usually they're extremely vocal among the in group yet very quiet in academic circles. Next is the kind of situation situation oriented group. And I find this to be the largest group and which most of us fit that into this and this group the Black male mean learns to adapt his behavior to what is acceptable at a particular time. If that means to mental actualize and university I mean that is down. If one is going home to Detroit for example speech patterns and mannerisms tend to revert to that of the destination at about Metro Airport. All other characteristics tend to be modified to some degree but normally the change isn't so complete as to be labeled as a sellout which is a socially undesirable term among all blacks.
And then I get to the set out. This is the last this last blackmail is the small irregular group that tends to shut other blacks. Both male and female and both on a social and academic basis. Often members of this group actively seek out white companions other black males tend to find this individual strange or think of him as being bright. It's usually kind of a personal opinion. What this leads to is when blacks are brought together is an unnecessary intergroup conflict among the black males on campus and the lack of effective efforts to alleviate the problem. And the university is rather static response to Black's efforts to obtain higher education and I think one of the advantages of a black studies program could have is to provide a means of transition from one's peer community to the university environment. And I find example of this is the Language Institute on the university's campus which functions as kind of for instance socialization and language unit four
of born students coming here and I tend to think that many blacks have the same problem we had we're trying to approach them in a completely different way. Also I think we can provide a means for more black males to enter the university in order to create a more realistic environment in which blacks may function and that's it. Thank you. I thank you squire. When you mention the language you remind me of the class last night. I'm talking about the language. And I also reminds me why I made such a law school on the boards. You know the college boards. So I'm going to give you one test. If you saw this on the boards what is a beauty. Eight. Don't tell.
Me. You blond Ohone example. If. You listen to this now what is so big a small toy. Me own 80 C A D. What's the answer. How many say B. Raise your hand. Raise your hand now only 80. How many says no lady that's wrong stance of black students. Yeah but that's not only example. And that's the point I'm trying to make there. I. My. Song Now this is my hand to the psychology people and none of the folks that designed these on Tess. You make these tests and you not put enough options down that. Is true.
Special of the week
Issue 45-70 "The Black Male pt. 1"
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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