Atlanta Public Schools has a track record of successful Black males who have gone on to do great things in the world. Black boys in Atlanta have strong examples of success from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Honorable Maynard Jackson and the many other great examples successful Black men who are products of APS.
Black Boys Who Matriculate Through Atlanta Public Schools Are Successful!
Brian Nwanze is a former student of mine who I taught at Ralph J. Bunche Middle School in Atlanta. In middle school he was focused on success and becoming a global leader. Today, he is doing just that at FAMU.
Recently he gave a corporate pitch to ATB Financial from Edmonton, Canada, as seen in the picture. He’s an Inside Sales Intern at Box. Box is a Cloud Content Management company for large enterprises all across the world. We service 70% of the Fortune 500 with over 92,000 customers worldwide.
As I look at many of students in Atlanta like Brian, I believe that teachers made a huge impact on their success. I was an inspiration for Brian to become a global leader. I taught my students about my experience living aboard which inspired them to want to do the same.
It’s Black male teachers who are helping Black boys find success in higher rates. Too often we don’t hear and see enough of the success stories of Black boys. What we do see daily are constant reminders of why we must dismantle the school to prison pipeline.
Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline places more Black boys in board rooms and not cell blocks.
Although traditional public schools systems are still pushing hundreds of Black boys into the school to prison pipeline, public Charter schools are taking proactive steps to eliminate it.
One area of interest is ensuring that students like Brian see someone who looks like them and can relate to their experiences standing before them in classrooms. I was inspiration to Brian and as his Debate Coach taught him strategies to engage his audience.
Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline work gives Black boy the chance to succeed. Education is power! A lot of Black males sitting in cell blocks didn’t receive a quality education. If they can’t articulate their thoughts or read their rights, they’re slaves to the criminal “injustice” system.
As Brian continues to thrive at FAMU, he is one of many examples as to why I advocate for school choice, more Black male educators in classrooms and equitable, fair policies that don’t push Black boys into the school to prison pipeline.
If we provide Black boys the proper resources, they can be presenting in board rooms across the globe like Brian.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.