African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice

African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice

African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice

African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice

Synopsis

Leading African American scholars examine the often neglected cultural context in research and policy development in African American higher education in this collection of essays. Past research has most often been conducted by individuals unfamiliar with the historical and cultural considerations of specific ethnic groups. Therefore, the outcomes of research and the development of programs have been based on deficit models, that is, what is wrong with African Americans, or what they cannot achieve. The book examines the questions; what is the relationship between African Americans' culture and experiences, and how should their culture be integrated into research and practice? How do African Americans' intra- and interrelations differ in higher education? How does understanding African American culture as it relates to higher education research enhance policy-making and practice? What role do HBUCs play in African Americans' participation in higher education? What are the policy and practice implications of,past and current research? Scholars and practitioners of education, culture and race relations will find this collection informative and interesting.

Excerpt

The inspiration for this book came from two sources: the book The Mis-Education of the Negro, written byCarter G. Woodson (1933), and the ideas expressed by Chinua Achebe, African novelist, in an interview with Bill Moyer. In his book, Woodson wrote, "The Negro will never be able to show all of his originality as long as his efforts are directed from without by those who socially proscribe him. Such 'friends' will unconsciously keep him in the ghetto" (p. 28). In his interview with Bill Moyer, Achebe recounted how that when he read the novel The Heart of Darkness, he was cheering on the hunter until he realized that he was one of the savages being described. Both Woodson and Achebe were describing the importance of each culture telling its own story and/or how the storyteller shapes the imagination and beliefs of those who read or listen. As Achebe discusses, the story can even influence those being negatively written about to subconsciously accept the beliefs of the writer, and, as Woodson indicated, the one who tells the story can unconsciously keep African Americans in the "ghetto."

As an African American storyteller of higher education research, I am amazed at how the educational "story" portrays African Americans--labeling us, for example, as "at-risk," "underachievers," and "unintelligent"--and like Achebe, I recognize that I am one of those individuals being described. I can say with absolute confidence that the African American culture is often inadequately depicted in higher education research, or our cultural perspective is often altogether missing. Although Ogbu (1978), Banks (1988), and other anthropologists and multiculturalists have been writing about culture for some time, not until I began my research study on a group of African American high school students across cities and school types did the research stories that they told about their wants and desires for higher education make me clearly realize the necessity for including culture and heritage in higher education research, for their stories provided an . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.