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Dispelling the Myths


Dr. Ivory A. Toldson ( is a senior research analyst at CBCF, an associate professor of counseling psychology at the Howard University School of Education, and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Negro Education.

Dispelling the Myths Archive

Acting Black, What black kids think about being smart and other school-related experiences
post date: 2012-07-01 02:17

By Ivory A. Toldson and Delila Owens

A question often echoed in popular discourse is, “Do Black kids consider being smart as ‘acting White’?” Cultural critics such as Bill Cosby and Stuart Buck have brought this discussion to the mainstream media. Scholarly literature has explored this concept through quantitative and qualitative inquiry (e.g., Fordham & Ogbu, 1986; Fryer, 2006). Those familiar with Black idioms are aware that some Black people will accuse others of acting White usually as a slight against someone who is acting against the best interest of the Black community, or “selling out.”

Cellblock vs. College A million reasons there are more Black men in college than in prison and why more work needs to be done
post date: 2012-03-02 12:19

By Ivory A. Toldson and Janks Morton Nearly 10 years ago, the Justice Policy Institute released the report “Cellblocks or Classrooms" (Ziedenberg & Schiraldi, 2002), which highlighted a disturbing pattern of states reducing funding for colleges and increasing spending on corrections. The report admonished federal and state governments for abdicating their role of providing equitable social resources and access to higher education, while building a colossal prison system, largely on the backs of nonviolent drug offenders. While the report should have been a wakeup call to policymakers, one line resonated and echoed more than any other: “Nearly a third more African American men are incarcerated than in higher education.” Today, the line is typically not sourced or qualified, and frequently stated, “There are more black men in jail than in college.”

Black male graduation vs. Dropout rate
post date: 2012-03-02 12:16

New standards for calculating graduation rates, prompted by No Child Left Behind mandates, require states to use cohort comparisons when estimating graduation rates. Independent analyses of graduation rates, such as The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males (Jackson, 2010), estimates graduation rates by dividing the number of students receiving diplomas by the number of students beginning high school four years earlier.