Earlier this month, an attention-grabbing 30-second video, released by the Mystic Valley Area Branch of the NAACP and featuring Medford High School students, debunked many stereotypes and myths about young black men. But why stop there? Some other numbers to consider:
■ 9 out of 10 black people 12 or older currently don’t use illicit drugs.
■ 93% don’t suffer from substance abuse issues.
■ 7 out of 10 black fathers ages 15 to 44 who live with their children bathe, dress, diaper, or help their child use the toilet daily — the highest ratio by race.
■ 9 out of 10 young black adults ages 25 to 29 have completed high school or its equivalent — the same ratio as the national average.
■ Among Boston-area universities and colleges, Tufts, Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, Bentley, Babson, and Emerson graduate at least 8 out of 10 black men enrolled.
|School||Black Males (%)||All Males (%)||Total (%)|
■ There are 59% more black men in postsecondary education than jail.
■ Black high school graduates are 3x more likely to be in college or employed than unemployed.
■ Black fathers ages 15 to 44 had the highest rates of helping children with homework and taking them to and from activities of any race.
■ 6 out of 10 black young adults 25 to 29 (compared to 18 percent in 1971) have at least some college — the same ratio as the national average.
■ 4 out of 5 black fathers living with their children read to them.
* Figure did not meet standards of reliability or precision
■ Urban public institutions which serve populations from tougher circumstances are known for lower graduation rates. But UMass Boston has gone from 2 out of 10 black men graduating in 2004 to 4 out of 10 in 2010, one of the fastest rises in the nation.
SOURCES: US Census, American Council of Education, US Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Education Trust, NCAA.org, Pew Social Trends
Derrick Z. Jackson can be reached at