About the three-part series: African American boys in Oakland are more likely to miss school, be suspended, not graduate on time or be incarcerated than any other students. Over the past decade, the number of African American men killed on the streets of Oakland nearly matched the number who graduated from its high schools ready to attend a state university. Against this backdrop of failure and death, school officials became the first in the nation to create a department with the sole focus of helping African American males while sponsoring a charter school specifically for black boys. Over the past year, the San Francisco Chronicle documented the fear, struggles and loss that African American males face in Oakland and the city’s attempt to address them.

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