The urgent need to recruit and retain Black male teachers

By Baruti K. Kafele
August 2022
I knew even before I landed my first teaching position that my presence as a Black male educator was going to matter. My main purpose for entering the education ranks was to inform, inspire, and empower the Black male learner. I have always cared deeply for all my students, but my “why” — the purpose that drives me — is disproving the stereotypes about Black boys and proving to the world what they are capable of achieving. Black men comprise less than 2% of America’s teaching force (Borowski & Will, 2021). That means that, for most Black children, the likelihood of learning from a Black male teacher is slim to none. That’s problematic for all students, but especially Black boys, because, as the expression says,

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Borowski, J. & Will, M. (2021, May 4). What Black men need from schools to stay in the teaching profession. Education Week.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Baruti Kafele
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Baruti K. Kafele ( is an education consultant, author, and retired principal.

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