Monday, July 17, 2006

NAACP President Looking for Action

NAACP President Bruce Gordon stated in his speech at the national convention that Black Americans needed to end "victim-like thinking" and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there presently to begin pushing more people of color out of poverty. This year's convention is being held in Washington DC, and the hope is that the president, who has never made an appearance at any NAACP event (perhaps with all the problems that have existed in black precincts the last two elections has something to do with the tension between the president and the Black community), will come.

With nearly a dozen years of experience working with minority students and parents, I've concluded that the single biggest obstacle that perpetuates the continuing achievement gap between white students and students of color is cultural in nature, and the attitude taken by Gordon is certainly a positive step. One grand experiment is Project Excite, which essentially is looking to see if there is a critical mass of minority students who excel academically that begins a domino effect, where being smart (which most of the students are) turns into acting smart and allows students of color to believe it is OK (and not an act of "acting white") to get into advanced classes and aim for top colleges academically. Politically, the minority blocks are large enough to determine elections, and time will tell if there is the motivation on a large scale to take advantage of that potential.

No comments: