Ujamaa Residents, Community Members Discuss the Black Male Experience in Education

Ujamaa Residential College’s main lounge was temporarily converted into a think tank on Thursday evening for students to unpack how the American education system seems to work against black men. Titled “For Colored Boys: Why Education Fails Black Men,” the event stemmed from a motivation to “isolate an aspect of the educational disparity problem that most people aren’t focused on,” according to the event’s hosts, Joshua Sims ’21 and Christopher Emodi ’21. “For example, the fact that black women are doing so much better [in academics] than black men means to me there is another issue, pertaining specifically to black men, that needs to be addressed,” Sims said. Throughout the conversation, students tackled specific issues marking the education system through an anecdotal lens: One student shared his experience in fourth grade, in which a teacher didn’t believe he was capable of reading more than what was assigned. But when a white peer presented the same information, the teacher found the story to be much more credible.