As Black History Month comes to an end, Communities In Schools Jacksonville (CIS Jax) has been reflecting on what this month means in our community and our part in helping shade the future generation. Black History Month first started as “Negro History Week” where the advancements made by Black people were celebrated. However, in 1976, President Ford decided to extend the week into the whole month of February because African Americans have paved the way for many people in history and deserve to be celebrated for more than one week.
Today, we extend our focus from Black politicians to also honor Black business owners, educators and a variety of other professions. While there is so much to celebrate this month, we also must acknowledge the fact that within our society there are still several obstacles that Black people face, even at a younger age.
In an article by the National School Board Association, one third of Black students lived in poverty in 2018. While that was only four years ago, these conditions are still heavily seen around Jacksonville. CIS Jax recognizes these issues and wants to target this problem head on by providing services that focus on assuring kids that they are more than their living situation.
CIS Jax serves kids through multiple platforms with our afterschool program, literacy tutoring, and case management. This year, 75% of the student in our programs are Black, and according to the United States Census, in 2020, only 88% of Black students received their diploma.
While 88% is large number, there is still room for growth to reach 100%. CIS Jax wants to help empower kids to keep going and one day turn that 88% to 100%.
Author Jinghong Cai Senior Research Analyst. (n.d.). Black Students in the Condition of Education 2020. Home. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://nsba.org/Perspectives/2020/black-students-condition-education
Bureau, U. S. C. (2021, October 8). 88% of Blacks Have a High School Diploma, 26% a Bachelor's Degree. Census.gov. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2020/06/black-high-school-attainment-nearly-on-par-with-national-average.html
History.com Editors. (2010, January 14). Black History Month. History.com. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month