A New Vision for Black Boys
Dec 16, 2010
By Hannah Matthews
There is a gross disparity in outcomes for Black people, particularly men and youth, in all major areas of American life, including education, employment, and health. Recent analysis shows that young child poverty rates for African American children are more than twice the poverty rate for young white children (41 percent compared to 14 percent); and the connection between poverty early on in life and negative outcomes into adulthood is clear and strong.
The 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys was formed to ensure that by the time black boys born in 2007 turn 18, the nation's policies and social mores will have changed drastically enough that collectively they will fare far better than today's young black men. A new report from the Campaign, We Dream A World, sets forth a strategy to raise awareness, create local impact, and advance better policies to achieve this goal.
The large disparities in child well-being by race, coupled with the growing diversity of our youngest generation, necessitate action in the early childhood field. Among the 2025 Campaign's recommendations is to promote access to high quality child care and early education through increased funding for child care subsidies, Head Start, preschool, and technical assistance to early educators and child care providers in low-income communities of color to ensure Black boys enter the K-12 education system ready to learn.
In addition to advocating for increased access to quality child care and early education, it's clear that improving the lives of Black boys requires policies that are deliberate in their focus on improving the trajectory for young children of color. Among other strategies, this means fully engaging parents and connecting families to vital comprehensive services early on to address racial disparities in children's health; providing child care providers in low-income communities of color with scholarships and other supports to access higher education credentials; and assessing early childhood standards, policies, and practices to ensure that they are promoting the best outcomes for all children.
Achieving the vision of 2025, requires committing to action today.