Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Stand out in the Crowd: Malik Henfield

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Stand out in the Crowd: Malik Henfield

Article excerpt

When Malik Henfield was a child in Brooklyn, N.Y., he attended a school made up entirely of black students and black teachers, and he did very well.

"The teachers were very strict, and the students were very focused on their work for the most part," he said. "There was no stigma attached to being smart. Doing well in school was the norm."

But when he moved to South Carolina, he encountered a different academic environment. Little was expected of him, and, for the first time, he saw students who weren't engaged with their education and teachers who didn't care about it.

"As a result of this experience, I've devoted my professional career to dispelling the myth that black boys are not smart," said Henfield, a PDK Emerging Leader and an assistant professor in the counselor education and supervision program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. "It is a dangerous misconception that, in my experience, is internalized by both students and those charged with educating them far too often."

He has focused his research on black males who may be considered high achieving or gifted. …

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