Monday, February 3, 2014

Please Ask President Obama to Help Educate Black Males;

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Making Progress; Moving Forward!
Ask President Obama to Help Educate Black Males
UNC - We Failed Students for Years
Only 10% of Black Boys Read Proficiently
Real Men Read Sweeps America
Daddy Daughter Dance 2014
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Please Ask President Obama
To Help Educate Black Males
February 1, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Regarding: Boycott March Madness Brackets

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for your dedication to making post secondary education available to more students. You have recently stated that education is the "surest path to a stable middle class life" in America. I agree with you.

However, recent information from the U.S. Department of Education shows that only 10% of Black 8th-grade boys in America read at a proficient level with no plan to improve this rate.

Additionally, last year, these NCAA Tournament Teams had horrendous graduation rates for Black male basketball athletes: University of Florida - 0%; South Dakota State University - 0%; University of Wisconsin - 14%; Iowa State University - 14%; New Mexico State University - 25%; Southern University - 27%; University of California - Berkley - 33%; Butler University - 33%; North Carolina A&T State University - 33%; Temple University - 36%; The Ohio State University - 38%; University of Arizona - 38%; Saint Louis University - 40%; Oklahoma State University - 40%; Liberty University - 40%; Colorado State University - 40%

And finally, the University of North Carolina just acknowledged that they were not doing a good job of educating mostly Black male football and basketball players.

I am asking you to do three things:

1) Thank Chancellor Carol Folt at the University of North Carolina for her courage, honesty and her support for the work of Professor Mary Willingham in her efforts to ensure that college student/athletes can read at least to a high school level and preferably to a college level.

2) Boycott the "March Madness Brackets" because so many of last years teams did not have 50% of their Black male athletes graduating with their class.

3) Work with The Black Star Project to ensure that more than 10% of 8th-grade Black boys can read at a proficient level in America.


(Your Name)
(Your Address)

Click Here to Send This Message to President Barack Obama
Email a copy of your message to President Obama to
University of North Carolina:
We failed students 'for years'
Mary Willingham Fights to Educate Black Male Athletes
By Sara Ganim, CNN
January 29, 2014
(CNN) -- The University of North Carolina failed some of its students "for years" by allowing them to take classes that did not match its own academic standards, Chancellor Carol Folt has admitted.
The concession -- the strongest since UNC-Chapel Hill was caught up in a fake-class scandal two years ago -- comes just weeks after a CNN investigation found continuing problems at UNC and other public universities where some student-athletes could read only at an elementary school level.
Two years ago, it was exposed that UNC students, many of them athletes, were given grades for classes they did not attend and for which they did nothing beyond turning in a single paper. One professor has been indicted on fraud charges for being paid for a class he didn't teach.
"We also accept the fact that there was a failure in academic oversight for years that permitted this to continue," Folt told UNC trustees last week.
CNN investigated the issue of poor academics among student football and basketball players after a researcher at UNC revealed that some could not read well enough to follow news coverage about themselves or even read the word "Wisconsin."
The researcher, Mary Willingham, said student-athletes were among those who took the fake classes, though she said the classes were just a symptom of the problem of enrolling athletes in the money-making sports of football and basketball who could not succeed academically by themselves.
Click Here to Read Full Story
In America, only 10% of 8th-grade Black boys can read proficiently*
"If you teach that nigger how to read, there will be no keeping him! It will forever unfit him to be a slave! He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master."
These are the words of Master Auld to his wife, who was teaching Frederick Douglass, a slave, to read. This passage is taken from an essay written by Jada Williams, 13, Rochester, New York. Click Here to see and hear Jada Williams read her essay. She was shortly-after forced our of school for wanting Black children to learn to read. Click Here to learn more about Jada Williams.
2011 Reading Levels of 8th-Grade
Black Males from the Lowest-Performing
Large American School Districts*
City\Percentage of 8th-Grade Black Males Proficient in Reading*
Milwaukee - 3%
Cleveland - 3%
Detroit - 5%
Washington (D.C.) - 6%
San Diego - 7%
Dallas - 7%
Baltimore City - 7%
Chicago - 9%
Jefferson County, (KY) - 9%
Atlanta - 9%
Los Angeles - 9%
Philadelphia - 9%
Austin - 9%
Houston - 9%
Hillsborough County (FL) - 9%
Boston - 10%
Miami-Dade - 11%
Charlotte - 12%
New York City - 13%
It was illegal to teach slaves to read. Slaves were beaten and killed if they could read. New schools for former slaves were destroyed as an attempt to stop them from learning. Did it work?
There is no plan that we know of in any of the above cities or from the U.S. Department of Education to change the fact that 90% of 8th-grade of Black boys in America cannot read proficiently. Black people in each of the above cities should call 773.285.9600 to become part of a plan to teach Black boys to read.
* Source: Minority Students and Public Education by Dr. Michael Holzman. This information was extracted from the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 2011.
Men reading to children changes children, improves schools and opens up the world of learning. The Black Star Project is asking men across America to make time to read to children during the month of March 2014. We will help schools, churches, librairies, park districts, community organizations, businesses, government units or any other group set up a successful Real Men Read program with support from The Black Star Project. We will help you recruit, train and schedule fathers, relatives, community members, businessmen, college students, retired men and other men to READ to children! For more information or to bring
Real Men Read to your city, school or church, please call
The Black Star Project Supports
African Night and Young People Organizing for Progress on

Saturday, February 1, 2014
6:00 pm to 11:00 pm
K.L.E.O. Center - 119 East Garfield
Chicago, Illinois
Brooklyn chess star battles the pressure of expectations
(Photo by DOYLE MURPHY/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) Brooklyn teen chess star Rochelle Ballantyne plays a rare, low-pressure match against Christian Whitted, owner of New York Chess and Games, at his Flatbush Avenue shop.
By Doyle Murphy
January 6, 2014
Some days, Brooklyn's chess queen can't help feeling like a pawn.
Rochelle Ballantyne, a former child prodigy who was featured prominently in a chess documentary as a 13-year-old, is trying to hold onto her love for the game after years of grinding through high-stakes tournaments under the pressure of soaring expectations.
"It's made chess become - instead of the game I love - it's become like a job,"
said the 18-year-old phenom, a college freshman who returned to East Flatbush last week from the United Arab Emirates after an unsatisfying finish at a world youth championship tournament.
Ballantyne's followers assumed she would swiftly reach her goal of becoming the first African-American female chess master.
It has proved to be an elusive goal.
The distinction is based on a rating system that swings up and down based on a complicated formula that accounts for total victories as well as the strength of a player's opponents.
Ballantyne's U.S. Chess Federation rating is currently 2,062; she needs to reach 2,200 to become a master.
Now attending Stanford University on a full academic scholarship, Ballantyne is still chasing master status as the pressure - which is mostly self-imposed - grows.
Click Here to Read Full Story
Daughters Grab Your Fathers for
The 5th Annual Valentines Day
2014 Daddy Daughter Dance
Saturday, February 8, 2014
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
The Black Star Ballroom
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois
Young women 4- to 14-years old are invited to dress up and show their fathers a good time at The Black Star Project's 5th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance. Cost $30.00 per couple and $5.00 per extra young lady. Please call 773.285.9600 to register your couple or to get a free organizing kit to bring the Daddy Daughter Dance to your city. This event is sponsored by The Black Star Project's Million Fathers Club. Attire: Dress To Impress
Music - Dancing - Food - Fun - Crafts - Pictures!!!
The Black Star Project Supports
Broadway in Bronzeville

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