As a Black male born into poverty and raised by a single father who was a high school dropout, I used to believe that my fate was already determined. Growing up in an environment that lacked great education and hope suppressed my ability to dream beyond my community. My formal education never unlocked the potential possibilities for myself or taught me the importance of having a sense of self in a world of possibilities. Limited access to information and knowledge, limits a child’s exposure to what’s possible. It was with the help of my mentor, Danny Farmer, and being introduced to new information outside of the educational system that ignited the spark for me to realize that anything was possible. Now as an award-winning educator, author of five books, national speaker and disability scholar, I ask myself how can I reach and inspire not only the students in my classroom, but students everywhere. How can I expose kids to the knowledge that will empower them while also introducing them to various content not taught at school?
As educators, we complain when a child is not prepared academically, but rarely do we offer materials for the parents to help their child at home. To build a bridge between the two components, I decided to compose a supplemental curriculum for African-American families. I believe that every African-American household should own a supplemental curriculum at home as a tool or resource to ensure that their children are fully equipped for success. A curriculum that contains important ideas and guides required to achieve success that are not taught in standard public schools to prepare the children to be Black scholars and not just good students. For more than two decades the American public education system has failed to address certain issues required to equip an African-American child with requisite skills for success. Since the National Commission on Excellence in Education released
“A Nation at Risk” in 1983, America’s educational system has been called mediocre at best and steadily on the decline. Statistics show that the effect and consequence of failing school systems ruins the quality of life for Black individuals and families. Yet, there is an absence in supplementary tools and the demand for resources that give African American children a guide to success in the educational climate.
“Raising A Black Scholar: A Curriculum” will hopefully help to bridge that gap between being just a student and becoming a Black scholar with requisite skills for success. The book includes great information to open up the minds of kids to not only be successful but a true Black Scholar. These include tips such as: coding, entrepreneurship, building a brand, becoming a writer, mentors, improving self-esteem is just some of things discussed in the book.
Roosevelt Mitchell is a four-time author, award-winning educator and scholar. Mitchell was honored by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of their “100 Men of Distinction” in 2016. Roosevelt is the founder and CEO of the RMIII Foundation, a foundation created to normalize disability in mainstream society. Today, Roosevelt is a special education teacher at Normandy Middle School in St. Louis, ...