Invariably, my query -- "What's the matter with the guys?" -- was greeted with smiles and a rather short list of answers:
They seem to have no focus. They don't seem to be able to make long-term plans and stick with them. They get caught up too much in fads, in whatever seems to be happening right now. Following the crowd means more to them than to girls. If something looks appealing to them, they can easily be led off their path and into something else. In one way or another, the girls said, the brothers lack focus or priorities.
The young men themselves, talking about what is important, betray a materialistic streak often reflected in music, particularly rap, videos and in some movies aimed at youth.
Youngsters, even in college, sometimes talk, yearningly, about dropping out, getting a job, buying a "truck," a sport utility vehicle loaded with booming sound gear; rolling on "dubs," outsized 20-inch wheels or "Sprewells" -- double rims that can cost $7,000 and more a set. It is a life so compelling to some that they find it hard to postpone such goals to study beyond high school.
Saturday, August 09, 2003
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is worried about the disproportionate failure rates of black boys compared to black girls or white boys. To get a handle on the problem, they asked the experts: black girls.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 10:08 AM