Growing up was a constant history lesson in Black Identity. At an early age, I was exposed to lessons and art from Malcolm X, Wes Montgomery, Goodie Mob and Minister Louis Farrakhan.
All thanks to my father.
At an early age I learned the importance of having a voice and using it. Public schools too often silence Black boys in classrooms because they aren’t able to connect with them. Filling the lack of black identity involves us hearing the voices of Black boys in classrooms across America.
Today, I am the father of a 1-year-old boy, Julius. I plan to teach the teachings provided by my father to my son because community and Black centeredness are values that he can use to build his foundation.
These are my values. They led me to found Profound Gentlemen, a community of male educators of color who have answered the call to impact and teach students; They are the reason I am BOLD today.
2% of educators in America are Black males. The majority of American educators are middle class white women. The majority of school board leaders in American cities are conservative white men. That doesn’t sound quite like a recipe of success for Black boys who have been racially discriminated against in the history of American schools. Nor does it provide anyone who can identify with their identity.
Black identity in public schools is vitally important to the success of Black students.
Currently, Black male educators are five times more likely to leave the education profession than other groups. Our work is very purposeful in helping close this gap.
PG believes that when someone knows why they are in the space, they will act differently. We’ve seen this in male educators of color we support and their students.
Our organization supports Black male teachers and helps them to serve their purpose. This helps more Black boys meet their full potential and schools act with a sense of urgency regarding the lack of identity of Black boys in public schools.
Jason Terrell, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Profound Gentlemen who shared these thoughts with The Bold Project in support of Black Philanthrophy Month.
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.