We believe our youth are more than statistics. They are brilliant and powerful and it is our duty to equip them with the tools they need to change the world. As such, we can't ignore the current statistics about our kids. It is a gross injustice that our youth of color, particularly our boys, are far behind their peers in graduation rates and literacy rates.
Nationally, African American male students in grades K-12 were nearly 2½ times as likely to be suspended from school in 2000 as white students.
On average, African American twelfth-grade students read at the same level as white eighth-grade students.
The twelfth-grade reading scores of African American males were significantly lower than those for men and women across every other racial and ethnic group.
Only 14% of African American eighth graders score at or above the proficient level. These results reveal that millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read.
The majority of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails are people of color, people with mental health issues and drug addiction, people with low levels of educational attainment, and people with a history of unemployment or underemployment.
Here at the Montgomery Barbershop Book Club, we believe our community must take responsibility for these results. This small effort to promote reading among our youth can help change our community. Together, we can ensure our youth do not become another statistics.