If you type into the Google search box “more black male teachers,” you will then be flooded with research about the importance of black male teachers. The articles will highlight the shortage and make a case to fill the need. The research will show the impact black male educators have on students. All these points are important, but what should be talked about is how to maximize and get the most out of the ones we have. I do believe the work to increase the two percent should continue, but we must also strengthen and support the ones we have.
A small group can do extraordinary things. Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
History has shown us it is possible. Think about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson. They were three black women who were prominent figures and minds in the Space Race. Then, there was the Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded in 1957 after the Montgomery Bus Boycotts to continue the work to combat racism through nonviolent protest. The group was founded by Martin Luther King, Fred Shuttlesworth, Ralph Abernathy, and Bayard Rustin. In 1980, after the tragic death of her 13-year-old daughter, Candace Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), which became instrumental in lowering the legal blood alcohol control limit.
What we need to do is pour energy into the black males we have in the profession. The men who are working right now in schools and educating the youth. Let’s celebrate them and wrap our arms and support around them. Let’s provide them with the resources to stay in the fight. I am all about funding projects to increase the number, but let’s fund projects to keep the 2% we have.
Attention black male educators: there are examples of what a small number can do. Let’s come together and do extraordinary things. Just because we represent 2% doesn’t mean we need to have a 2% impact. Let’s make a larger impact. Push to do more and achieve more in the schools where we work. Salute to my brothers out here doing the work. Some groups have components of their organization that support the current black male teachers. Groups like The Fellowship and Profound Gentleman should be applauded and supported for helping the 2% make a larger impact.
Be that as it may, we represent 2% of the teacher force, but we do have the ability to do so much more than we currently are doing. We cannot be held back by our small number.