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Black Kids Are Thriving In Afro-centric Schools

By: Krystle Crossman

It is no secret that black youth are not getting the education that they need in schools that are not afro-centric. When they are placed in schools that meet their cultural needs as well as their educational needs however they are thriving. An education professor from Northwestern University named Carol Lee started a charter school called the Betty Shabazz Charter School. Each day the students (who are all African-American) begin with a fact about black history, a message that teaches them about having respect for their elders, and a pledge of pride.

Lee states that students do not do well in regular schools because they are faced with racism every day and stereotypes that they must overcome. These barriers are not helping their education at all as they lose focus. Lee also says that people claim that the all-black schools are another form of racism and that they need to look at it from another point of view. Culturally mixed schools do not give the proper attention to each culture that is in attendance at the schools. Everything becomes lumped together and those with a different culture do not get to learn much about their history.

Chicago is home to a few African-centered schools and they have seen a marked improvement in the students’ performance as opposed to being in a traditional public school. When the students do not have to deal with racism and stereotypes they are able to concentrate more on their studies as opposed to concentrating on figuring out how to belong. It may seem wrong to develop schools that are only made for one culture, but that is because people aren’t looking at it from the perspective of the students who are underperforming in schools.

The goal of these schools is not to block other races and cultures from learning with black students but to strengthen the black community. They aim to send these students off into the world with respect, dignity, and a bright future. Unfortunately this is not what happens for many black students in traditional public schools. The students are taught by black teachers and are able to have role models that have gone through the same things that they are going through and know of the same struggles.

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36 thoughts on “Black Kids Are Thriving In Afro-centric Schools

  1. shaz

    I agree with afro-centred schools and hope this gets panned out globally, particularly in the UK. Anyone who claims this is a form of racism, its not and they should be mindful it was white man who invented racial structures, not blacks. We as a community, are merely reacting to the bull and doing for self. If it provides positive outcomes for black children then so be it. The white does not feel threatened by sikh and muslim only schools, so why when it comes to schools exclusively for our own black children, the beast trembles? Society needs to focus on why they project wickedness on black people as a whole and f*ck off and let us right the wrongs they’ve done by raising our children in schools that is for the long term benefits.

    • Shayla

      What about the millions of Interracial children in this country? Mixed schools, with good teachers is the answer. Parents should teach their children about their individual cultures. Most in this country are mixed anyway, there are very few, if any
      ” pure” races anymore.

    • Pinkie

      Strange… when this was done in South Africa you people all called it racist and a crime against humanity… Because that’s all that WAS done in South Africa.

      And the second a bunch of whites decided to do this you people would all be up in arms about the racism…

      Can you even say the word hypocrite?

      • Ebony News Channel

        That is because when Whites create “all white” schools.they do so in order to maintain DOMINANCE AND SUBJUGATION over the non-white people /victims of Racism over whom they have power. When they are in charge, they ensure that the schools they STILL control for non-white students do not have adequate material, curriculum, or quality education for the students and that the non-white students are deprived of the most constructive help possible to fill their needs and eliminate their mistreatment.

        What is “White culture” anyway? From my observation, White culture IS Racism/White Supremacy.

        Your attempts to classify a RESPONSE to Racism/White Supremacy as “hypocrisy” is an absolute FAIL!

      • Bern baby burn

        @Pinkie. This comment is a reply to the negative comment from Pinkie. What a name. By the way there is no human being that ever existed with PINK pigmentation. Just saying. After all the STATS show that black students are thriving in all black schools, all you have to say is that if whites did this we would be mad?

        There are all white schools That exist today. They are not labeled all white. But they are in an all Lily white neighborhood and all the white parents, very comfortably take their white kids to those schools with no problem. Please… Cut out the innocent poor white people crap.

        Do you remember how many black families perished just so that blacks can be let into all white schools. Then once blacks Were allowed into all white schools, they changed the curriculum to exclude blacks in every way and teach them that they were slaves.

  2. Ahmasi

    I’m in agreement with Shaz! Afroc-centered education is part of our salvation as a racial/cultural entity on the planet no matter where we are geopolitically! Sometimes we fall for the trick that caring for our own, doing for our own, creating for our own is some alleged ‘reverse racism’! It’s a game that has been used on us all too successfully! We mustn’t fall for that nonsense anymore! It is clear we must do for ourselves since we have seen no one is coming to save us! Doing for self is what every other ethnic/racial/national group has done through history but when it comes to us suddenly the racists are accusing us of ‘reverse racism’! We need our own educational system or a unified home schooling set up! Whichever way we go, WE must do for US! It is OUR responsibility to educate our young; the sooner we learn and understand that, the better off we’ll be collectively and individually! Each One Teach One!

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  5. Concerned Father

    Racism is a two-way street. I live in Europe, in a neighborhood where a lot of the people are immigrants or here on refugee status. My daughter likes to play with every other kid in the area, but many of the children with foreign background refuse of play with her – on the account of her being white. However, there are other 6-7 year old children who do not wish to play with “them”, i.e. the children of immigrants/refugees. My child cannot understand this as she has been taught to accept everyone as they are. I, however, can understand it clearly. Their parents’ have already taught their children their biased views of the world. Some families have even moved away from the neighborhood “before it is ruined”.

    Human beings are tribal by nature, we tend to keep in the company of others who are “like us” or “like minded”. Language is one barrier to keep some out – and others in, hence every generation, professional group etc has their own slang that can be understood only by the members of that group.

    In that respect, I fear that in the end, Afro-American education or any other education based on ethnicity (or religion for that matter) is a problem and leads to more segregation than integration with the surrounding society. Quite frankly schools should force children from different groups to mix. In different classes / activities, children should be paired each time with a different person instead of their best mate and this should make them interested in co-operation with each other. After all, knowledge is the key, we fear (and hate) the unknown.

    • Ebony News Channel

      Racism (White Supremacy) is a ONE WAY STREET.. The only people capable of practicing it so long as White Supremacy is the dominant operating system on the planet, are people who classify themselves as being White.

      Could it be that the non-white children do not want to play with your White child because Whites have built a horrid reputation for themselves globally? Non-white children or immigrants are not to blame for isolating themselves or being very suspicious of white people. .This is logical.

      It’s interesting when a White person shows up in forums EXPLICITLY for the benefit of Black /non-white people playing the victim and then telling the victims of Racism that what they are doing (to protect themselves FROM mistreatment) won’t be constructive and that ‘integration” is the solution (not for us).. when the EVIDENCE has shown that so-called “Integration” or black children attending schools centered around Euro-centric curricula and culture and run by White people is DETRIMENTAL TO BLACK CHILDREN.

      I see it as a tactic to preserve Racism/White Supremacy and the power Whites enjoy because of it. I also wonder WHY WHITE PEOPLE keep invading these spaces as if we don’t see you attempting to NEGATE any self centered activity and institutions among your victims.

    • Bobbie

      Ma’am I hope that one day your child will understand not everyone is that way.
      On another note please stop talking to this lady about white supremacy she obviously does not agree with it. Furthermore why is it anyone feels the need to make a white person hold the torch for their ancestors? This is ridiculous. While racism is not the proper word, making every white person accountable for their heritage is just plain hateful. The comments are just nasty flying from both ends. None of which is helping anyone. We as blacks cannot spew hatred (do not deny it) just because of the injustice done. People claim to be enlightened yet still hold all white people responsible for the past. Don’t forget but do not hold this anger in your hearts.

  6. Chris

    Where are the statistics? I want to believe this but this article seems like more of an opinion. Where is the evidence that our kids are thriving?

  7. BigMO

    HOG WASH… Blacks have ALWAYS sought out the white community for their tax base – to suckle from it, to live in white people’s homes, get white people’s jobs. etc. Blacks MUST be extracted from the white man’s nipple.

    Black males are non-occupational ranking males i.e. they cannot stratify their group by occupational titles, which means no industries, no tax base. So the black man MUST feed off of – like a baby to hos mommy’s nipple – the white tax base.

    Blacks MUST have a homeland in America…and then be FORCED to go there. Best for both races

    • Andrea

      Why don’t you go to school and get a history lesson? A truthful history lesson, not the BS that’s written in white produced books. You obviously don’t know much about your history or any other. You’re one of those people that think anything that you or your ancestors have done is alright. You have to believe blacks are a certain way to justify your treatment of them. You or your ancestors haven’t had to pay for the horror and evil you’ve perpetrated against blacks and others so you continue with your evil. Your day of reckoning is coming soon and you don’t even see it.

  8. Vero

    Every state in America has jewish schools. Every public school many do not have one european student, yet they are the treasures on each new york city school board since 1992. Congressman Clayton Powell Jr. My Black Position Paper should be read and understood by every person ages twelve to death. The solutions are clear in this four page paper. Each person should learn positive facts accomplishments of the Africans who lost more than 20million anccestors. We should stop shopping it only reinforces our oppressors businesses until the involved law inforcement elected officials and police are arrested for each crime Central Park seven charges should be filed against the liars who where promoted Central Park Five who documented discipline the lawyers who put these innocent children and adults unjustly in jail. What about the unnamed 1000African African-American and Latino children who were arrested for the rape of a woman who said”I was raped by a male no discription was given. Tawana Brawley, Mike Brown, officer Pantaleo in Eric Garner instead of Ramsey Orta and tax payers money should not pay for the lawsuits when

  9. Vero

    A human is accused of a crime the entire police department should not pay but the accused should never have forty eight hours to get the lies in the media. Any law abiding citizens should not have their taxes pay for a crime the officers commit. Since the money doesn’t come from the individuals pension or retirement the people who are hired to protect now we find are the terrorists. Police departments work hand in hand with the media we must documents certified mail our facts of life or the attacks on Cosby or Wesley Snipes will be known more than the accomplishments of our parents neighbors grandparents and ancestors.

  10. Shayla

    This article has some good points, but is not realistic as the % of these schools they talk about in the article are less then 1%. The other problem is what about the Millions of Interracial children in this country? And if you have this kind of segregation in the schools, Blacks will not know how to deal with people in the real world. Racism dies when children are all brought up together. It is the fear of the unknown & the ignorance that supports racism. I went to mixed schools & grew up with a healthy mind set because of it.

    • Ebony News Channel

      Shayla, please take that “interracial” crap to some “interracial” forum. This is about African American children. Not the agenda of people with no defined culture. You make many illogical and FALSE statements which based on EVIDENCE are patently false and in my opinion SILLY.. if “interracial” children have “special needs” it is the job of their PARENTS to see to it that it is met, not the responsibility of the parents of Black children to put our own children LAST (as Whites and their buffer class non-white offspring and black bedmates so often think we should do) in order to ultimately help maintain global White Supremacy/Racism at OUR expense!!

      “Racism dies when children are all brought up together.” GARBAGE! Black children were brought up with the little Racist White children on plantations for hundreds of years and Racism/White Supremacy is still the dominant operating system on the planet.

      As well all of the bedroom activity that has gone on between the White Supremacists and non-white people (victims of Racism) GLOBALLY, which has produced all of the “interracial” children you keep trying to make THIS discussion about, has only worked to MAINTAIN, EXPAND AND REFINE global Racism /White Supremacy and to insure the continued abuse/mistreatment of black children

      African centered education for African American children!! There is no constructive reason for their education to be centered around anyone else but themselves or any culture or community other than their own! Those who find this to be “negative” usually have their OWN agendas which are not constructive to our well being.

  11. Jessica

    You cannot use the exception to undermine the norm. White women who have chosen to have children with black men, generally have the means to sufficiently educate their children.

    African American culture should not be held back from implementing African Americans led schools like Urban Prep that have conclusively proved, with a five year 100% graduation rate and a 100% four-year college placement rate, that African American founded, designed, and headed schools work. This is in the best interest of indigenous African American culture and fully black children. African American church denominations should also pursue the establishment of PK-12 church schools similar to those established by Lutherans and Catholics, whose schools routinely test higher than public schools.

    I believe that even further, we should establish African American focused schools of the performing arts. Schools that focus on training black children in the history of African American music and dance. African American culture has created: The Spiritual, work songs, the early American ballad(Carry Me Back To Old Virginie), cakewalk music(The Cakewalk dance), marching band music (W.C. Handy), Roaring 20’s music (The Black Bottom music and dance), the blues, the modern ballad, the torch song, the big band sound,
    New Orleans Jazz, The Jitterbug Dance, modern jazz, progressive jazz, do-wops, rock & roll, rhythm and blues, soul music, funk music, psychedelic funk, the Motown Sound, the Memphis Sound, the Philadelphia sound, protest music, gospel music, Disco, a host of dance fads, rap& hip-hop.

    No other culture in this nation has contributed as much to the music and dance history of America, and that history could certainly can constitute a four-year high school African American music and dance curriculum.

    There is nothing more powerful that Black America can do, than unapologetically taking on the exclusive education of African American children. Other cultures do no have to explain why they want to educated their own children.

  12. Alvin Scott

    Some people can survive and maintain in a public school but many cant. I work in a public school and it is not helping our kids as a majority. We worry to much about them not knowing how to deal with a white person, but ask yourself do white folks care about how their kids deal with us. White folks are quick to pull their kids out of a public school and go private because they know their kids will adjust. How about we worry about our kids for a change. Facts we are integrated with a segregated curriculum that teaches you half truths and facified statements. Our kids need to understand fully their background and who they are.

  13. Aan

    Good article. It does raise some good points. As one commentator said earlier there are Jewish schools across the country. Every ethnic group in the United States has their own cultural schools for their children to learn and maintain their unique identity. culture and sense of belonging. There are Chinese, Islamic, Caribbean schools operating as regular elementary to middle schools that follow the basic curriculum of regular public schools with emphasize on the respective peoples. There are even weekend schools too to learn different languages. So why isn’t racism when African Americans want to have schools focused around preserving identity and culture without the xenophobia and racism involved? Especially when African American children thrive in some Afro-centered schools? Hopefully the curriculum in the Afro-centered school includes science, technology and math as well as Language Art.

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  16. Ameera

    I’m evidence that schools like this are beneficial. I attended Betty Shabazz for 7 years and even though I transferred to a mainstream school in 5th grade, I was able to understand where the gaps in my people’s history occurred. When the conversation about slavery was glazed over, I didn’t make a fuss, but I understood what had happened and why those events were so uncomfortable for my white teachers to bring up.

    It’s not about segregation, but cultural awareness. Get that most other cultures keep their cultural identities intact. Hispanics know their language, East Indians have kept their religion, Native Americans know their tribes. These were among the many things that we lost during slavery in a somewhat successful attempt to keep us from strategizing, to kill our hope, and to alienate us from each other. Even though this happened so long ago, it was systemic, which allowed us to teach each other – sometimes out of fear, sometimes due to brainwashing – that this was the norm and we should be used to it. Yes ideally you learn your culture from your family, but we were deliberately deprived of that knowledge for generations, so that’s not an option here.

    Now I’ll admit I’m not completely aware of my own cultural identity, which I’m am working on, but I at least have an idea about the legacy of my people. I know that I am truly descended from some of the greatest minds in history; minds that created the system of math that’s faster than a calculator and built the sphinx and pyramids with raw manpower. Knowing my past also gave me the desire to learn about cultures around the world. How can you properly appreciate a people without understanding your own? It’s the same idea behind the question of how do you love someone when you don’t love yourself.

  17. Kay Mann

    I’m just glad it’s not a white person bringing this up or you know and i know that it would be branded a segregationist plot to keep us apart… and if a white person were to want to start a white kids only school, you’d have no problem with that would you? oh snap… now it’s on.

    Seriously though, whatever it takes to get kids to learn… and that should begin at home.

  18. Ben Haith

    We can increase the number of Home Schools in the United States by cross promoting Summer Home Schools and selling Study Room Furniture. This plan is the key to African Americans future.

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  21. Joi

    I am doing my dissertation on culturally responsive pedagogy through technology: The Case for African-Centered Schools in a Post-Racial Society. If any of you are currently working in an African-centered school, home schooling your children or have connections to those who do I would appreciate your help. I can be reached via email at [email protected] or you can respond to this thread with your contact info.

    Thank you

    L. Joi Love


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