No other group of students has been more studied, more misunderstood, and more maligned than African American students. The racial gap between White and African American students does exist: a difference of roughly 20 percent in college graduation rates has persisted for more than the past two decades; and since 1988, the racial gap on the reading and mathematics sections of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) has increased from 189 points to 201 points. What are the true sources of these differences?
In this book, psychology professor and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Black Psychology Kevin Cokley, PhD, delves into and challenges the dominant narrative regarding black student achievement by examining the themes of black identity, the role of self-esteem, the hurdles that result in academic difficulties, and the root sources of academic motivation. He proposes a bold alternate narrative that uses black identity as the theoretical framework to examine factors in academic achievement and challenge the widely accepted notion of black anti-intellectualism. This book will be valuable to all educators, especially those at the high school through undergraduate college/university level, as well as counselors associated with academic and community institutions, social service providers, policy makers, clergy and lay staff within the faith-based community, and parents.
- Uses African American identity as the framework to understand academic achievement and to expose the biases of "deficit thinking" that presumes that under-achievement among black students is related to deficiencies in motivation, intelligence, culture, or socialization
- Presents information and viewpoints informed by empirical research in a manner that is accessible to general readers and non-specialists
- Uses personal anecdotes and examples from popular culture to connect with readers and better illustrate the validity of the author's strengths-based approach rather than the conventional deficit-based approach
- Challenges the idea that black students are inherently anti-intellectual and do not value school as much as their non-black peers