Think back to your years in school. Besides the Trapper Keepers, Jansports, and Columbia jackets, what do you remember? Can you think of any teachers who looked like you?
A 2015 study showed that Black teachers are more likely to believe that Black children are capable of academic success. Unfortunately, many children may not be able to benefit from teachers who believe in them.
The Atlantic reports that across the nation, 16% of public-school students are black, but black teachers make up only 7% of the nation’s teaching force. Of that 7%, Statistics show that only 2% of America’s educators are black men. source
Two celebs are lending their star power in an attempt to bridge the gap.
Sean “P.Diddy”Combs is set to open a New York city school this fall. Harlem’s Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School is currently accepting applications for students in the sixth and seventh grades and will expand a grade each year until 700 students are fully enrolled in the school through grade 12. In a statement to Huffington Post, Combs said,”Every young person should have the tools they need to succeed. All our children should be able to pursue their dreams.” As a Harlem native, he’s aware of the community’s needs. “I want to impact the lives of young people in my community, and build future leaders. The first step is offering access to a quality education.”
Actor, director, and producer Nate Parker, best known for his roles in The Great Debaters and Red Tails, is also opening a school on the campus of a historically black college in East Texas. Wiley College, the setting for much of The Great Debaters, is also the setting for the Nate Parker School of Film and Drama. “The hope is that we cover all aspects of film making, from sound, lighting and cinematography to just studying film specifically with the cultural component and the history of film,” Parker said. Classes start this fall, but 30 high school and college students will be participating in a nine day intensive this summer. “You control the moving picture, you control the masses. So really getting them rallied around the idea of reclaiming the narrative of America, specifically through the eyes of people of color.”
Here’s to reclaiming the classroom.