Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males

By Freeman A. Hrabowski III; Kenneth I. Maton et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

Well, I guess I beat the odds. My parents didn't even read or mite. They were sharecroppers. My mother would try to instill in me the importance of school, even though she couldn't help me with my homework. But I beat the odds.

Parent of young Black male

In our work, we often hear African American parents expressing the hope and desire that their children will achieve at the highest levels academically. What we also hear from these parents, though, is that one rarely sees in the media examples of young Black males who are achieving academically, being rewarded for those achievements, and feeling good about being smart. Even among advantaged African American families, we find that young males are heavily influenced by the popular culture that discourages pride in high academic achievement, demands that young Black males present a hard veneer to the world, and provides numerous opportunities for these young males to become involved in a world of crime and drugs. In fact, the idea for this book originated from our concern about the frightening status of young African American males and the need to find effective, family-based, educational solutions to enhance their futures. The book examines what families are doing to raise academically successful African American males.

Moreover, race now is a hot topic--one of those topics we have difficulty discussing and which quickly leads to tension and feelings of discomfort. Unfortunately, most of the discussion on race focuses on the problems minorities are experiencing; these groups, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, are too often seen as a burden to society because of what they cost taxpayers, rather than as groups that add to the economy and the social and cultural fabric of our society.

We are fortunate in finding one source for our answers in our own backyard, the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, created in 1988 at the Uni

-vii-

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Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Successful African American Males and Their Families 3
  • 2 - Father-Son Relationships: The Father's Voice 23
  • Summary 57
  • 3 - Mother-Son Relationships: The Mother's Voice 62
  • Summary 95
  • 4 - The Son's Perspective 101
  • Summary 137
  • 5 - Parenting and Educating for Success in Math and Science: from Early Childhood to College 148
  • Summary 166
  • Summary 170
  • Summary 184
  • Summary 187
  • 6 - Parenting African American Males for the Twenty-First Century: What We Have Learned 188
  • Appendix a Overview of Study Procedure 206
  • Appendix B National Science Foundation Minority Student Development Programs 209
  • Notes 211
  • References 227
  • Index 237
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