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African Americans

African Americans have a rich history of survival, determination, and accomplishment. Nowhere is this more evident than in the pursuit of education. Throughout history, African Americans have sought to ensure that each generation exceeds the previous in educational attainment.

In spite of decades of slavery and often at great peril, African Americans sought literacy as a source of and means to freedom.

During the years of separate-but-equal education, African Americans persevered in educating their children in churches that served as schools, at all-Black schools in the heart of their communities, and in the establishment of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

During the slow integration of America's schools, African Americans found that they had to fight to keep the positions of qualified African American teachers and administrators and advocate vigorously for the equal educational opportunities of Black children within these integrated schools.

As the direction of public education moved toward standards-based curriculum and high-stakes testing, African Americans faced a gap in student achievement on a variety of measures. This gap was exacerbated in high minority, high poverty schools in urban areas.

Today, the challenges facing African American children in America's schools are vast. In our neediest schools, there is little access to resources, qualified teachers, and a challenging curriculum.

In our more affluent schools, African American students still fall behind on a variety of student achievement measures, and those who do fare well must contend with the notion that they are "acting white." In the future, promoting educational achievement for African American children will come from all aspects of an African American community steeped in a tradition of struggle and poised for a future of promise.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Find useful information about the nation’s historically black colleges and universities:

There are 36.8 million Blacks in America, representing 12.8 percent of the total population
Strengthening the family unit
The Black community faces educational issues similar to other minority groups


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