Broken families lead to broken communities

Washington Post

By Jonetta Rose Barras

Opinions

April 8, 2015

Saving males of color has become a cause across America. Even before President Obama put his imprimatur on the issue, touting his My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and before “Black Lives Matter” became a movement, nonprofit organizations began researching the psyche and socioeconomic status of black and Hispanic males. They also had begun proposing various solutions.

The District jumped into the game this year, when Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced a $20 million, three-year Empowering Males of Color initiative. It involves the creation of an “application only,” all-male college-preparatory high school, hundreds of mentorships and school-based grants.

How the African American Museum's Founding Director Navigated the Pressure

Lonnie G. Bunch III, a bespectacled man with a neatly cut gray beard, is laughing about how he was seduced into taking the job of founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture—the latest and most anticipated addition to the massive Smithsonian Institution. After all, when the Smithsonian approached him, he was happily ensconced at the Chicago Historical Society. His initial reluctance may have something to do with the sky-high expectations about the museum. Already, more 100,000 people have become dues-paying charter members—sight unseen. President Barack Obama is expected to participate in the official opening and dedication ceremony on Sept. 24.

The School House

Unhappy with traditional public education, African-American parents are taking schooling into their own hands.

Jonetta Rose Barras

Mar 13, 2015 12 AM

 

The living and dining rooms inside Monica Utsey’s unit in the Fort Chaplin Park Apartments on East Capitol Street aren’t marked by the typical 21st century interior decor. Instead, packed bookcases stand in one section. Colorful pocket folders hung vertically from a wall are filled with workbooks. Educational posters dot one space, while an erasable chalk-board is mounted in another. A small student-style desk, anchoring a corner, holds pens and markers. Next to it, a larger table that also serves as the gathering place for family meals is decorated with a spiral flip book, turned to a quote by famed abolitionist and former D.C. Recorder of Deeds Frederick Douglass. The place is a virtual school house. 

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