Breaking Brown

June 22, 2016

Boys Will be Boys, Unless They’re Black, In Which Case They’re Men Headed to Prison

Boys Will be Boys, Unless They’re Black, In Which Case They’re Men Headed to Prison

Dr. Steve Perry is still getting roasted for posting a celebratory tweet about convincing black boys to cut their hair. The problem for black boys, however, is not aesthetics so much as how they’re viewed by society, regardless of whether they have a fresh line-up.


Along with the curriculum and teaching problems black children encounter in schools around race and culture, there is a legacy of positioning black males and black children in troubling, dehumanizing ways.


For example, scholars note that black children, specifically black boys, are often viewed as mature and “adult-like.” Their behaviors and experiences are not seen as part of the normal arc of childhood development. Scholars find that in this “adultification” process, black children are not given the allowance of childhood innocence.

This helps explain the ease with which even charter schools are fast-tracking black students to prison.

From U.S. News: 

Charter schools suspend students at a much higher rate than non-charter schools, some of which have suspension rates north of 70 percent. But a disproportionate amount of those suspensions fall on black students, who are four times more likely to be suspended than white students, and students with disabilities, who are twice as likely to be suspended as their non-disabled peers.

Black boys aren’t allowed to be boys. They’re men–headed straight to prison either now or later, school administrators believe. None of this will be fixed by getting your son to the barber shop every two weeks.
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