VOICES: Southern schools need more, not less, critical race theory

My eighth-grade history teacher back in Grand Rapids, Michigan, began our Civil War unit with a movie. We spent nearly a week of class time watching "Gone with the Wind." The person responsible for providing us with a true depiction of history showed us a film that elides the true reasons for the war and portrays enslaved persons as dumb, happy, and servile. He gave us fiction rather than fact. GOP-controlled state legislatures and school boards across the South are perpetuating a fiction of th

Factors Affecting Bar Passage Among Law Students: The REAL Connection between Race and Bar Passage

Among lawyers, perhaps no test is debated as often as the bar examination. Race is a large part of the debate, as Black law grads are more likely to struggle on the bar exam than their white counterparts. “Learned” professors have killed many forests in their repeated attempts to argue that law schools – particularly top-ranked law schools – could cure the problem by admitting only “qualified” Black students. But these simplistic arguments overlook the fact that there are factors beyond LSAT sco

Is the Cost of College Making it a Bad Investment for Black Students?

In 1940 less than two percent of African-Americans graduated from college. By 2016 that number had risen to nearly 30 percent.  That increase should be a sign of success however the financial challenges faced by Black graduates has meant that a college education is not what it used to be. Although Black students enroll in college in numbers roughly equal to other ethnic groups, Black students are less likely to complete their degrees than their white counterparts. Moreover, over the past twenty

Betsy DeVos Wants to Gut Department That Investigates Civil Rights Violations In Schools

As the federal agency responsible for overseeing education from kindergarten through college, the policies adopted by the United States Department of Education have a major impact on the lives of American students. But in the Trump era, that impact could be a negative one. Budget cuts and personnel changes in the department could leave Black students at a disadvantage in the race to succeed academically. In America, state and local laws govern most education policy issues. Thus, matters such as

Why Are Schools Serving Predominately Black Students More Often Marked As 'Failing'?

Headline after headline proclaims the news: America’s students attend “failing” schools. Government data supports the conclusion. Parents agree. On this issue, liberals and conservatives are united in their dismay. The concern seems warranted because without effective schools, students will be ill-prepared for adult life. Beginning with the release of the “A Nation at Risk” report in 1983, the federal government has tried to find ways to hold schools accountable for their results. This movement

How School Dress Codes Unfairly Target Black Girls

Imagine this scenario: Your daughter plans to wear a traditional African outfit to school to celebrate Black History Month. Her planned ensemble includes an African dress and a traditional headwrap called a “gele.” On the first day of February, she wears the outfit to school. When she comes home, you might expect her to say that she was complimented on her style or praised for her pride. You would not expect her to say that she was nearly suspended for wearing the outfit. While the above scenar

The School to Prison Pipeline: What Black Parents Need to Know

As mentioned in our last post, parents are preparing their families for the new school year.  Though most parents and children look forward to the new school year, no parent looks forward to notes or calls about behavior issues.  While all parents dread these conversations, Black parents have more reason to be concerned.  For African American children, what begins in school often ends in court.  This piece will provide information Black parents need to know about the school to prison pipeline.

Black Law Schools Matter

There are 204 ABA-accredited law schools in the United States, but six of them stand out from the pack.  These six – Howard University School of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law, Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Southern University Law Center, FAMU College of Law, and the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia – have the distinct honor of being the only Historically Black Law Schools in the nation.  These law sc

School Uniforms Becoming a Stiff-Fitting Policy on Black Students

Jerimiah Fassett was sent home from school earlier this September. He did not get into a fight. He did not bully another student. He did not disrespect a teacher. According to WPIX in New Jersey, the 15-year-old was sent home because he violated the school’s dress code. The school’s dress code states that students must wear black shoes with their uniforms.  Jerimiah’s black shoes had pink accents. Therefore, he was sent home. Jerimiah is not alone. This month NJ.com reported that another New Je

You Have Your First Law School Grades: Now What?

While most Americans regard January as chance to recover from the holidays. But for law students, January marks a time of high anxiety: the arrival of law school grades. Though students worry about grades to varying degrees throughout law school, first year students usually experience the highest levels of stress. Let’s be honest: anyone who tells you that law school grades don’t matter is lying. Your grades, particularly your first-year grades, will shape your early career. Also, as this blog

Choosing a Law School: A Guide for African American Applicants

At this time of year, most are taking a deep breath after filing taxes, finalizing an Easter outfit, or looking ahead to Memorial Day. Law school applicants, on the other hand, are stressed. Law school seat deposits for this fall’s 1L classes are due soon. Anyone would be stressed when facing a decision that could not only cost roughly $150,000, but could also determine future career prospects. With the cost, the pressure, the rankings, and other concerns to consider, it’s understandable that Ap