In America, we proudly declare this land for the free. It is essentially a place where an individual can fulfill his wildest dreams regardless of ethnicity, color, or race. “Equal opportunity for all,” we recite beaming with extreme pride and felicity, yet this statement could be no further from the truth. African-American citizens daily face several obstacles purely as a result for their appearance which is unfair and unjustifiable. Although American society has progressed significantly since the last century, there still lies several important issues at stake. Black students often experience many disadvantages in our American school system. The Black Lives Matter movement intends to create awareness of this injustice and hope for a society which truly takes “equal opportunity” to the heart.
Education in black communities is at a disadvantage as a result of school closings. The No Child Left Behind Act proclaims that each state will assess its students and ensure that they meet the state’s educational standards. Essentially, a school that performs better will often be funded more since it serves as a great representation of that state’s particular education. Neighborhood schools, institutions in which any local resident can attend, are consistently under-performing and consequently, receive fewer funds which often results in their closings. The affected students face no other choice but to join a lottery and hope to receive a chance to enroll in a charter school where hundreds of other children are competing for a limited amount of spots. If a student is not chosen to attend the institution, then they fall behind with their studies by attending another distant, low-quality neighborhood school.
Those that are lucky enough to attend a decent school can still be subject to a major disadvantage: racism. Recently, the University of Missouri has experienced massive attention because of the sudden increase of prejudice within their institution. Racial slurs, malicious stares, and serious threats are only a few of the problems that African American students confront. Black students have reported being spat at or sometimes threatened to be killed solely because of the color of their skin. College is a place where individuals can explore and share new ideas and values with one another without criticism. It is a grand journey of self-exploration and discovery. Discrimination makes this intention obsolete and completely contravenes the whole purpose of university.
Lastly, many black students are unable to attend college as a result of their underprivileged circumstances. Those who come from poor neighborhoods often do not have the funds and support that is essential for college. In consequence, students must get jobs in order to pay off their college tuition, however this frequently hinders their academic performance. A part-time job takes over valuable time which could have been dedicated to studying. As a result, the college graduation rates for African-Americans are at 33.1% for male black students and 44.8% for female black students. Failure to graduate creates a very vicious cycle within black families; those that do not graduate often make less than $35,000 annually and on average receive minimum wage jobs.