chapter  3
21 Pages

“I Am Not the Stereotype”: How an Academic Club in an Urban School Empowered Black Male Youth to Succeed


Black male youth are in deep trouble in America. When compared to other ethnoracial and gender groups, Black males lag behind in terms of school attendance, grade point average, and standardized test scores (Anderson 2008; Belfanz and Legters 2004; Blanchett 2006; Jencks and Phillips 2011; Ladson-Billings 2011; Noguera 2003b, 2008). Black males also demonstrate a greater likelihood to be suspended or expelled from school (Tienda and Wilson 2002), classifi ed as mentally retarded or suffering from a learning disability (Harry et al. 2000), and tracked into remedial curricular tracks devoid of any Advanced Placement or honors courses (Conchas 2006; Howard 2008; Oakes 2005). Thus, a deeper understanding of the unique struggles faced by this population, and the identifi cation of potential solutions, remain critical for scholars of race and education.