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Black Boys Can Make It

How They Overcome the Obstacles to University in the UK and USA

Paperback
November 2008
9781858564319
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    10th November 2008
  • ISBN 9781858564319
  • Language English
  • Pages 168 pp.
  • Size 6.75" x 9.75"
$32.95

This book dispels the myth that Black boys are synonymous with underachievement.

It demonstrates how many progress into higher education, albeit against the odds, and offers solutions for policy and practice. There is a plethora of research focusing on the underachievement of Black boys. But little attention has been given to their positive achievement until this author’s research on both sides of the Atlantic. .

The book follows black male students in the USA and UK who have successfully accessed higher education— at both elite universities (Harvard and Oxford) and less selective institutions. It sets out to establish the extent to which they have been exposed to the factors known to correlate with the underachievement of Black male youths, and to identify the factors that have led to their educational success and influenced their access to, and choice of universities.

Part One sets the educational scene in each country. Part Two looks at the obstacles the students encountered, covering social class; parental social capital; racism and racial identity; and addressing the boys’ own negative attitudes and behavior. Part Three unravels the factors leading to success, devoting attention to parental roles; positive encounters with schools, teachers and community; the influence of church; and the students’ personal qualities and navigational smarts. Part Four reviews the boys’ processes of choice and application to university and concludes with implications for educational policy and practice.

Here is a book that can be used both as guide to policy development, and as a practical tool for use by parents, teachers and Black boys themselves to help gain access to higher education.

"Challenging the narrative that black males do not or cannot achieve academic success, this book documents the success of black men in higher education in the United States and the United Kingdom in higher education. The book seeks to examine factors that contributed to the students’ achievements, as well as obstacles that could have derailed their education."

Diverse

“Adding to the body of literature that reveals patterns of success for black males; this work is full of richly textured stories that demonstrate how social class, parents, racial identity and personal attitudes impact opportunity structures and a sense of self for black male students in college. Byfield raises the larger cultural context of the UK and US demonstrating similarities and differences across the groups. A readable and enjoyable book offering insights to researchers, practitioners, parent and students. An important read for those who seek to understand the diversity of the black male experience!"

Sharon Fries-Britt, Associate Professor, Dept. Educational Policy and Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park

"In this book the author adroitly shifts from a deficit to a student success perspective. The focus on Black males from both sides of the Atlantic is an excellent way to show that students from all groups and levels of society can be successful in school. But we need to know what accounts for their success in order to help educators and policy makers do a better job of promoting success for all students. Once again, the role of parents and educators is central to the educational success of the participants in the study reported here. In spite of many barriers, students can indeed succeed if parents and educators provide them with the appropriate cultural capital and learning opportunities. This book clearly describes how all of the needed elements can come together to produce
successful students."

Raymond V. Padilla, Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio

"As chickens come home to roost, Byfield's book helps to concentrate the mind on what the true challenge is for us and what we have to do to enable not only Black boys to achieve educationally, but all our young people: it is they who are special and who represent the future."

Lord Herman Ouseley

"In this book the author adroitly shifts from a deficit to a student success perspective. The focus on Black males from both sides of the Atlantic is an excellent way to show that students from all groups and levels of society can be successful in school. But we need to know what accounts for their success in order to help educators and policy makers do a better job of promoting success for all students. Once again, the role of parents and educators is central to the educational success of the participants in the study reported here. In spite of many barriers, students can indeed succeed if parents and educators provide them with the appropriate cultural capital and learning opportunities. This book clearly describes how all of the needed elements can come together to produce
successful students."

Raymond V. Padilla, Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio

Acknowledgements; Foreword by Lord Herman Ouseley; Preface PART 1: SETTING THE SCENE 1) Introduction; PART 2: OBSTACLES OVERCOME 2) The lens of social class; 3) The parents' involvement; 4) Racism and racial identity; 5) Boys with attitude; PART 3 UNRAVELLING THE FACTORS THAT GENERATE SUCCESS 6) How parents steer their sons towards educational success; 7) Teachers in schools and community projects; 8) Religion and its effect; 9) Personal qualities and navigational smarts; dPART 4: PROGRESSING INTO HIGHER EDUCATION 10) Going to University; PART 5: CONCLUSION 11) Implications for policy and practice; Appendix; Bibliography; Index

Cheron Byfield

Cheron Byfield is co-founder, Chair and Chief Executive of the National Black Boys Can Association, UK.