Class: The Community College The only label we put on our students is…
(Walker, A. 1996)
Minority Status for Black Students at Community Colleges 1.
I. LABELING BLACK STUDENTS AS MINORITIES The most outstanding and interesting facts about Chapter 3 was the section on ethnic minorities. This section is interesting because of the label of minority as a concept by which blacks were categorized. In order to justify a rationale for some kind of second class denouncification, as though, because you are a Black person you should receive this lesser or minor education. Let's take a look at the word minority. The word means less than, not equal, it has numerical connotations, it is minor, not important. According to Abena Walker, Principal of the African-Centered School, and a leader in African-Centered Education, "The European uses the numbering process to justify his judgment and worthiness of others. If they cannot count it, it does not exist. The larger the number the more you are worth. The lesser the number the less you are worth. The term minority is another way of putting Black students down subtlely. It is a racial statement of denouncification, and inhumanity. To categorize Black students as minority is for the European to say you are not as many as us. So, therefore, you are not equal to us. With this in mind, the Euro-American prepares for Black student a training system that is less than his own educational system in order to keep Black students in subordinate roles and his children as the superiors. The community college is a subordinate system of training compared to the Black colleges and universities. According to the second paragraph on page number 49 in our textbook, “ The American Community College”, indicates that a larger percentage of the community college population is Black. When looking at local community college in Los Angeles, some community colleges have up to 76 percent Black students population. This figure could be duplicated in other cities like Chicago, Dallas, and
Cleveland where there is a large population of Black people.
Classifying the students on page 55 and 56 elaborate on the assessments of community college students from a sociological, psychological, economic and political perspectives. Blacologist, would be concerned about the cultural benefit the community colleges have on the Black student and culture. Blacologically, the community college, takes away from the viable number of Black students who would attend historical Black colleges/university (HBCU). In effect, causing these institutions to struggle for enrollment, for funds, and decrease the level of talent and human resources available for cultural development and individual redemption or atonement. Also Blacks must be concerned about their family's direction and development. Blacks must be concerned and steadfast about their collective as a people. As a people, we must be into institution building.
Blacologically, we must acknowledge the highest percentage % of our people attending Junior colleges are seeking transfers. These students do not hope to attain an Associate of Arts degree. This is costing them more money in the long run. They are paying 1,500 to 4,000dollars more to obtain a Bachelor Degree. When all they have to do is go directly to a HBCU. Malcolm X taught us "that the money we take out of our community means we become poorer and poorer, while other cultures become richer and richer". We must be concerned about the collective versus the individual success.
III. BUILDING OUR OWN INSTITUTIONS
Community colleges prepare us for jobs. We need to be prepared for owning our own businesses. We do not need to build up the cultures of others. We need to build up our own institutions. The community colleges are like pacifier. They are there to quiet us down. They put something in our mouths but, they are not what we really need. There is an object there, but it is not the substance needed to solve our problems. We need to build institutions not work for institutions. Community colleges do not prepare us to build institutions. They only pacify our needs.
Community is like a drug; a quick fix. When the high is gone the problem is there and has gotten worse. The community college does not teach us to face our problems as a culture. It teaches us to ignore our cultural responsibility. Blacologically, we need a solid ground, not a stepping stone. We need to be able to put our feet on our own land and build upon it. We do
Minority Status for Black Students at Community Colleges 3.
not need to get into someone else’s company. The community colleges have failed us.
IV. EXPLOITATION OF BLACK (STUDENTS) RESOURCES
It is apparent that the Junior colleges have nothing to offer Black students based on page 64 of our textbook, therefore, they drop out. The Junior colleges are nothing but revolving doors. Their only success is the exploitation of Black students to fill their doors and hallways. This cultural exploitation is a fact that the community college advisors are aware of but, do little to correct them. Also knowing that the community colleges has to have monetary income to survive. This system exploit Black students because there is no cultural compensation, when our resources are exploited, misguided, miseducated, or oppressed. Blacks know after a few weeks that this system is not for them. The community colleges on 1he majority scale, do not suggest that Black students try their own cultural institutions as an alternative to community college. The Junior colleges are like the spider's web to the fly for Black students based primarily on the fact that Junior colleges are in the business of making money not education.
Why should we send Black student to the Junior colleges when they will be ill prepared and not cared for? The Authors suggest that the Junior colleges have very little support group or agency to deal with the need of Black students. When Black students attend institutions outside of our culture, they need support groups to attain their goals. Black students particularly have special needs that living in this (USA) country deems it necessary to survive as Black people.
V. CULTURAL EDUCATION
Sending Black students to community college is sending them to deal with the world. As we know as Black people, the world is vicious with it white European Spuremaccy. Sending the Black child to the Junior colleges without copping skills is like sending them to the lions den. This is why one out of five go on to receive a Bachelor degree and even less than that attend Black institutions of higher cultural education. There are very few places on the community college campus where a Black student can discuss the issue facing an evolving Black culture. The experience of the community college is to make the black student a minority and forget about his cultural obligation. The goal attainment for Blacks who
Minority Status for Black Students at Community Colleges .4
graduates or attend Junior colleges is to be an individual and minority. Black students who have Junior colleges experience have very little or no cultural knowledge and have very little time for the issue of Black higher education.
I must say, this does not apply to the two year institutions that were built in the late 1800's and early 1900 as land grant college for the sons and daughter of the ex-slaves. These institutions were built to train, educate and prepare Black people or African-Americans for their 4 year institutions of higher cultural education. The land grant two year institutions also provide the students with the knowledge of the cultural struggle and the reason why cultural education was necessary for the individual as well as the collective. These institutions are not even mentioned in this chapter. They are totally ignored. It is consistent with the community college system of the exploitation of Black students and the denial of their cultural development.
The community college is not a place where people are serious about education. It is a place were you pass your time. You look like you are trying but the level of education is not provided. You can go to the community college for four years and never use any of the credits that you have acquired. There is no incentive to graduate or go on to the four year Black institutions. When Black students finish at Junior colleges they avoid HBCU's at all cost. If the Black college is the only higher education institute in town, they will go 30 miles out of town or father to a predominantly white institution, or don't go at all.
Blacologically speaking, the community college prepares Black student for jobs or occupations. This is an antiquated method. It was good in the days following bondage. It was not good enough for even Booker T. Washington and George Washington Caver. They were in the business of institution building this is the path and direction for African-Americans and their culture. We must build a cultural institution, one by which we are able to attain our own assessment and tracking. We need Black student to understand the necessity of cultural responsibility. The community college only prepare our students to be servant and employee to other cultures. It is as Dr. Fisher has taught us "I find something wrong when someone
Minority Status for Black Students at Community Colleges 5.
doesn't want the same amount of education for you that he/she has acquired?') If I have a Bachelor's, Masters, and Doctorates why would I not want the same for you?" Why would I want you to start out with less than what I started with. It is time for Black folks to stop working ten times as hard as white people to accomplish the same goal. This is some form of institutional racism. Why should African-Americas settle for less than others.?
Blacologically; let's take a look at the word minority. A numerical accountability of a people at a specific locality or geographical area, the statistics or demographics indicate there are 400 Black people and 500 white people. How does this equate into exploitation and miseducation. Why is it that Blacks, should receive a lesser educational training than white people? Why should Black people and their children be relegated to community college and not their own cultural institution? Why are the predominately white institutions pushing for Black students to start with less than what they started with?
Minority Status for Black Students at Community Colleges .6
The Ballot or the Bullet, Malcolm X, 1966, New York, Record Album.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley, 1968.
Blacology: A Cultural Science. Walter Cross, Washington, DC, 1989. Library of Congress.
The Community College Course. Dr. Miles Mark Fisher, IV, Distinguished University Professor, University of the District of Columbia, 1996
Cohen, A. And Brower, F.B. The American Community College, Third Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1996.
Abena Walker, Afiican-Centered Education, Washington, DC 1996.