not ready: transcript


ACTOR: Yo you gotta go to college, you might as well. Bro, what do you mean nobody will accept you? There are 4,000 colleges and universities in this country, somebody will give you a chance. Everybody’s school didn’t necessarily prepare them for college, but there’s resources out there to help you.

YVONNE: Every four years the Schott Foundation for Public Education does a study to see just what is going with young black males and education.

And the graduation rate just continues to widen between young white men and young black men. The national graduation rate for young black men was only 59 percent compared to 80 percent for white young men. In Philadelphia only 24 percent make it out of high school.

As a college professor at NYU I see the effects of this everyday. Black male students walking through the journalism department is not a common site. And overall, big universities struggle with diversity numbers, especially in recruiting black males. Partially because the pool is small.

And that is just wrong and sad. And needs to change.

Rashaan Brooks feels the same way.


RASHAAN: I think college is very important, especially for black men because quite honestly a lot of people in this country don’t want us to go to college. They don’t want us to graduate high school at that. And like they’re ready for us to like be low as far as like social standards and it’s the cycle of poverty is still hitting us today. So.

YVONNE: Rashaan, is an 18-year-old high school senior at Julia R. Masterman High School. This fall, he’s headed to the University of Pittsburgh. He wrote this week's’ monologue, “Not Ready” in response to young black men in his Olney neighborhood feeling like they have no options.

Let’s listen to “Not Ready” performed by Carlo Campbell.