Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Black male teachers absent from America’s classrooms —

todd-storyBy Todd Johnson
Class of 2007

Sometimes, it takes a student to school the teacher.

And this is what happened to sixth-grade teacher Robbie Curry last week.

“[My student] was like, well it’s not that often that you see a black male being a teacher,” Curry recalls of the conversation. “It’s quite often that [black men are] working part-time jobs.”

Curry said he is now even more conscious of his potential impact as a black man on his predominantly black and Latino students at The Bronx School of Science, Inquiry and Investigation in New York.

Nationally, black men comprise 2 percent of the nation’s 4.8 million teachers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan addressed the lack of black male teachers earlier this month.

Duncan has called for the expansion of alternative recruitment programs, such as Teach for America to produce the nation’s next generation of teachers.

“It energizes me, knowing that I am part of a movement to increase [the number of black male teachers],” said Adamah Cole, a Teach for America recruiter.

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