Click here to purchase "Excellence Without Excuse." Charles W. Cherry II, a South Florida former prosecutor, earned Juris Doctor (law) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees simultaneously from the University of Florida. Cherry says Black students must:
  • learn and practice skills such as time management, goal-setting, aggressive listening, speed reading, effective note-taking, library and computer research, test-taking and memory systems with the same intensity and dedication as basketball, football, or other sports;
  • become `bilingual’ by learning `Standard’ English as if it were a second language, if necessary;
  • beware of and learn to prevent `culture shock’ if they attend predominately White schools;
  • prepare to cheat on exams and be prepared to manipulate the educational system as is necessary;
  • learn to succeed by identifying some positive achievement he or she has made individually, no matter how small, and using that single achievement as a foundation to believe that success is not impossible;
  • know that Black history did not begin with slavery, and that African people have a long history of worldwide achievement. Each Black student should have a working knowledge of African history from the beginning of the world, even if he has to teach it to himself.
“Black students must understand that the days of ‘White guilt’ are over, and that being a so-called ‘disadvantaged minority’ is no excuse for academic failure,” Cherry says.

“However, I still believe racism manifests itself in the American educational system in two ways: one, in the ‘soft bigotry of low academic expectations,’ to paraphrase former president George W. Bush; and two, in the irrational fear of Black students, particularly of Black male students, as seen in disproportionate punishment and negative classifications of those students as developmentally or emotionally troubled. But Black students can succeed, despite these obstacles.”

According to Cherry, all Black students must closely examine themselves to determine whether they believe or disbelieve two important myths: (1) that Whites are always smarter, always richer, and racist; (2) that Blacks are culturally and economically poor, helpless victims and athletically superior.

“The White supremacy/Black inferiority mindset in Black students must be eliminated through knowledge of world history with a focus on African and American history, knowledge of self, and mastery of the academic skills that students must have to succeed academically,” Cherry explained. “Otherwise, America and the world will lose a generation of leaders, scholars and productive workers.”

“America’s students are now in a worldwide academic competition against motivated, serious, hard-working kids from India, China, Japan, Europe, and other countries around the world,” says Cherry. ” Those who are best prepared for the future will disproportionately affect the destiny of our planet.”

“Barack Obama is now the worldwide standard of achievement for Black Americans, whether that’s fair or not. Nobody wants to hear excuses for failure any more.”