If you’ve ever tried to go to college, you’ve interacted with a professor at some point in your life. If you were lucky, you might have run into a black professor. Chances are, you probably never had a black professor in college. Personally, I’d never taken a class from a black professor until I actually became one, since many universities don’t hire black scholars very much. When universities hire black scholars, they enjoy getting rid of them after concluding that they are not as qualified as the white people on the faculty. Like my respected colleague Dr. Cornel West, I’ve had battles on this issue with my own school, Syracuse University, which has a horrible history when it comes to hiring black people who don’t dribble a basketball. Even Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) have this problem. Have you ever counted how many black professors there are in the sciences and business schools of HBCUs? The numbers might surprise you – your kids are not being taught by black professors as much as they might lead you to believe.
What is saddest, however, is not the racism of academia. Even more shocking is the manner by which many intellectuals (black and non-black) are “dumbed down” by the way scholars and professors are trained to think. Rather than exploring the world and engaging in high action scholarship, we are trained like monkeys to sit inside our man-made bubbles within the ivory tower, focusing on miniscule, insignificant problems. Once these problems are solved, we are told to publish the work in academic journals that are read by a very small number of people in our tiny little niche. We become like some Baptist ministers who are so caught up with the collection plate that they no longer care about God – professors are here to share knowledge, and we’ve lost the desire to educate anyone other than ourselves.
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by Dr Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University
In his video called “Rich N*gga Sh*t” (I can’t even write the title, since I don’t want to pollute the eyes of my readers. Maybe you can fill in the missing letters, like in the TV gameshow “Wheel of Fortune.”), the rapper Soulja Boy has worked overtime to set an all-time record for massive hip hop buffoonery. But he’s only 19-years old, so I am going to give him a pass in hopes that he will choose to wise up at some point.
Showing off his new diamond chain that doubles as a remote control toy Lamborghini, the young brother proceeds to wow his audience by pushing the limits of financial extravagance. I’ve seen rappers with chains shaped like the state of New York or jewels that have their names on them, but I have never seen a chain that doubles as a remote control car. When I saw his latest “achievement,” I truly felt that he’d lost it. I am not here to say that Soulja Boy has not planned for his financial security, I really hope he has. At the same time, I’ve seen a ton of rappers get wads of dough, only to find themselves broke and spending their lives in the studio trying to create their next breakout hit. Let’s be real: the industry is not here to empower the rappers – it is here to enslave them. Soulja Boy’s comments about giving “big ups” to slave masters (for bringing black people to America) should have been saved for the slave masters in the recording industry who control his destiny right now.
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Click here to listen to Dr Boyce host the Jim Reith Show. It’s explosive!
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University
The following is an exerpt from the book, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College.”
Before I tell you all the great things about college, and all the things that are going to happen before, during and after, we should start with a very basic question: why do you want to go to college anyway? I mean, you could be doing a lot of things: playing in the NBA, bustin rhymes with your boys on stage, acting in Hollywood, or just plain old “kickin it”. More realistically, you could also just jump right out and get a job after high school. There was a time when that wasn’t such a bad thing. My grandmother always tells me stories about the days when a high school diploma went a long way, when a house cost 8 cents, when dogs didn’t bite and you could leave your front door open at night. But a lot of things have definitely changed since then, and a person must adjust to the times.
If you want to increase your chances to getting a good job one day, then getting a solid education under your belt is a great place to start. Once, I asked a friend if she was going to college. I think that she was the kind of person that wanted to make the quick money, rather than spend 4 years investing in her education. In her mind, it was all about making money right away, and college would be a waste of 4 years for her. When I asked her if she was going to go to college, she said “I like money too much to go to college”. I said to her “I like money too much not to go to college!” So the fact is this: you need degrees to get to the cheese! To lay it down in concrete terms, a census bureau survey showed that college graduates earn nearly one million dollars more during their lifetime than people with high school diplomas. What would you do with your extra million?
Sure there are exceptions. I went to college with guys who never graduated and left early for the NBA to make more money than most of us will ever make. However, this is clearly the exception. For every Kobe Bryant or Allen Iverson, there are literally millions of other students who are not quite good enough to make the big money. For every Vivica Fox or Jenifer Aniston, there are a lot of women out there in Hollywood with roaches crawling across the bathroom floor. I am not saying this to stamp out the dreams you may have, it’s a reminder that you should pursue higher education no matter what you decide you want to do. This guarantees that you will have something to fall back on in case your plans don’t turn out quite the way you thought they would.
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