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A Gentleman Ponders..."EVERY" Black Male is in Prison.

    Recently in one of my classes my professor stated a common myth - "There are more black males in prison than they are in college". You probably completed the sentence before you finished reading it. But it's rarely noted how misleading this is. l once held that view till a discussion I had with this lady a day before. She made some resounding points and gave some serious schooling. She told us the college age (~17-24) is what is compared to the prison age(~15-80) so of course, why wouldn't there be "MORE" black men in prison. However, my professor made a good point, she asked the black men to identify by raising their hands and yes, there was a handful of us. Disregarding i attend a primarily Caucasian school.

 According to the 2005 Census Bureau statistics, the male African-American population of the United States aged between 18 and 24 numbered 1,896,000. Add the numbers in local jail (mid-2006), you arrive at a grand total of 193,000 incarcerated young Black males, or slightly over 10%. Everyone knows incarceration rates among young black males are much higher than among whites or Hispanics. An August 2003 Bureau of Justice Statistics analysis shows that 32 percent of black males born in 2001 can expect to spend time in prison over the course of their lifetime. By contrast, 17.2 percent of Hispanics and 5.9 percent of whites born in 2001 are likely to end up in prison.

 The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education  reports that over 38.1% of black men matriculating in 2002 at private not-for-profit educational institutions. Slightly lower than the graduation rate for all black students matriculating in the same year.  Of the 803,400 black men in the nation's state and federal prisons and local jails in 2001, just 189,200 were 18 to 24 years old. Nearly 76% of these black inmates were 25 and older, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported. Whereas 635,198 black men, the vast majority ages 18 to 24, attended higher education institutions in 2001 according to the US Department of Education.

So the more accurate statement is this: There are more than three times as many college-age black men attending higher education institutions than are locked up in this nation's jails and prisons.

If Black History Month is to be less of an excusable month for blacks to wallow in self-pity  it must debunk black myths in order to accurately reflect the reality of the Black Plight. 

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