Black boys need positive role models from within their own communities to help tackle underachievement, a report says
The Reach panel of experts, from fields including education and business, says too often role models for young black men include rappers who glamorise guns.
The report says this could cost the UK £24bn over the next 50 years through taxes and criminal justice costs.
The Men's Room charity said black youths need "a greater diversity of images and portrayals".
The report was commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The group wants a national programme to encourage lawyers, doctors, teachers and others to become mentors.
It says that, too often, celebrities and rappers who glamorise crime become the role models for young black men.
The report also calls for stronger relationships between schools and the parents of black boys and urges inspection body Ofsted to make sure all schools strive to close the academic gap between black and white pupils.
Since the academic achievement gap between black and white students is largely the result of racial differences in intelligence, there is little that the schools can do to close this gap.
Black boys 'need positive role models'
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