JACKSON, Miss.– Leading off the speakers for today’s Summit on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Dr. Ivory Toldson, who happens to be on the faculty at my alma mater (Howard University), left us with a question that I think was the question of the day:
WHAT ARE WE DOING TO MAKE SURE YOUNG BLACK MALES KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THEMSELVES ?
This question is absolutely important for those of us in journalists– when it comes to asking question about the “bad news” narratives that are often associated with African American males and their lack of achievement.
Toldson’s presentation set the stage for a day of discussions that required everyone to operate from a position of fact not fiction. He showed the value of the academic researcher who can utilize social scientific research methods to question and critique statements that often are based in exaggeration of hyperbole.
In one such case, Toldson says his own enrollment as a black male student at a university was being overlooked as scholars claimed there was an absence of black males.
His profound question challenges anyone or group who is embarking on an effort to call attention to the achievement or opportunity gap for students of color.