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Educating African American Males: Detroit's Malcolm X Academy Solution Paperback – May 1, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Clifford Watson
Clifford D. Watson is the principal of the Malcolm X Academy, an Elementary School
serving grades K-8 in Detroit, Michigan.

Geneva Smitherman Educating African-American Males
DR. GENEVA SMITHERMAN is University Distinguished Professor Emerita,
Department of English, Co-Founder, Core Faculty and former Acting Director, African
American and African Studies, and Core Faculty, African Studies Center, at Michigan
State University (MSU), in East Lansing, Michigan. She began her life-long commitment
to the education and development of Black youth while still a teenager, serving as a high
school teacher of English and Latin in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS). Early on, in
her work in the academic vineyards of Black Studies, students dubbed her ""Dr. G,"" in
recognition of her academic accomplishments-""Dr.""-and in celebration of her having
remained their girl-""G."" She proudly answers to and is nationally and internationally
known as both ""Dr. G"" and ""Dr. Smitherman."" Dr. Smitherman is author and editor/coeditor
of 15 books and monographs and over 125 articles, essays, and published opinion
pieces. In 2006, she published Word from the Mother: Language and African Americans.
Her latest work, Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language and Race in the U.S.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Third World Press (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883781573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883781579
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,569,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on December 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book reveals shocking statistics about Black males in Detroit and speaks of a Afrocentric school environment that can help them. It even seems like the first years have rendered positive results. What was most profound to me was that these educators were saying, "You can't wait until their teen years to ask how we can improve these males' academic performance. You must start almost from day one." I would much rather folk try something to address a problem than nothing. However, I think this book might not be as true as it was during its publication a decade ago.

The authors say, "This type of school is in court, but so far we've won cases." I'm no lawyer, but I think those courts decided that male-focused schools like these are illegal as gender discrimination. This book doesn't say, but the problems that these males face is not due to females in the classroom. Yes, it's sad that some young Black males only get hired by drug-dealers, and not legitimate employees. However, their female classmates didn't cause that. I recently read a book about female-only schools published this decade and it said, "Male-only schools [like Malcolm X Academy] have been deemed illegal, so can it's opposite still stand?"

I attended Berkeley during the years when California killed affirmative action in its schools. More professors and student groups tried to mentor youngsters hoping they would be Berkeley-qualified in the future. However, I don't know if those efforts have lasted to today. There's the issue of burn-out. Just because someone mentors a Black male one year doesn't mean they'll be doing the same every year to infinity. Due to my personal experience, I'm just worried that the excitement of the novelty of the Academy may not have lasted forever.
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Educating African American Males: Detroit's Malcolm X Academy Solution
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