Academically Gifted African American Male College Students
by Fred A. Bonner II
January 2010, 217pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-89789-857-7
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38723-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Less than ten percent of the nation’s higher education studies in gifted programs focus on African American populations, and less than half of those studies focus on African American males. In addition, only two percent of the research analysis conducted on post-secondary gifted programs focuses on African American students and the factors contributing to their success.

The first-ever study of African American giftedness at the collegiate level, focusing on two extraordinary case studies.

At a time when so many studies of African American students focus on the factors of failure, Academically Gifted African American Male College Students fills a conspicuous void in the research literature on post-secondary education by focusing on success. Like no other work before it, this remarkable study goes deep inside the experiences of academically gifted African American men who successfully navigate their way through rigorous college-level programs.

At the heart of the unique and long overdue work are two real-life stories of African American male students: one at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and the other at a Traditionally White Institution (TWI). In presenting, comparing, and contrasting these two cases, the book identifies a number of personal characteristics and institutional approaches driving their notable achievements. The result is a guidebook both for gifted African American male students and for the institutions looking to strengthen their support for them—particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.


  • Presents two separate case studies revealing how academically gifted African American males experienced different higher education contexts—the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and Traditionally White Institution (TWI)
  • Includes interviews with both participants ten years after their college experiences
  • Offers six articles that provide a contemporary focus on issues impacting African American gifted males in school
  • Provides excerpts from journals, such as Gifted Child Today, Roeper Review, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of Race and Policy, and Journal for the Education of the Gifted
Fred A. Bonner II is professor of higher education administration and student affairs in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development and associate dean of faculties at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.


"The content of this entire volume is unquestionably informative and a rarity as a complete book on African American giftedness. Thus, it provides a unique examination of the state of gifted Black males in higher education and should be read by everyone who works with college students."—Journal of College Student Development, September 1, 2010

"The most encouraging aspect of this study is its fundamental approach of focusing on the voices of high-achieving African American male college students – comparing the experiences of high-achievers on two distinctly different types of campuses, and looking at the relationship between faculty and students and among peers. The strength of this study is that the author asks good questions and then listens carefully to the voices of these students. Ultimately, their voices and perceptions – and our expectations of them – determine how they perform."—Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

"Dr. Bonner provides us with a compelling portrait of gifted African American males. Through comprehensive longitudinal case study methods, he invites us to join him in examining the lives of Trey and Stephen, two gifted students in drastically different collegiate environments. We come away from this exploration with an enlightened understanding of the difficult challenges and joyful triumphs experienced in the lives of high achieving African American males."—Thomas P. Hébert, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Educational Psychology & Instructional Technology, The University of Georgia

"The voices of the gifted Black males in this book are powerful and offer insight into the important factors that shape their collegiate experiences in two distinct institutional settings. As their stories unfold we learn of their individual experiences and the important role of family, faculty and peers. Their stores add to the rich tapestry of the Black male experience in higher education."—Sharon Fries-Britt, Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Maryland, College Park

“Fred Bonner’s powerful and pioneering book on academically gifted Black Brothers is a breath of fresh air in the age of Obama. How I wish the mainstream media would focus on what Bonner gives us in his marvelous work!”—Cornel West, Princeton University
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