Hughes, R. L. (2010, Spring). Engaging African American males for educational success. Gifted Child Today, 33(2), 55+.
Although there is some research addressing gifted African American children who attend K-12 schools (Ford, 2006; Moore et al., 2006), few studies address high-achieving and gifted African American male college students. Moreover, the vast majority of research highlighting the schooling of African American students focuses on their negative educational outcomes instead of their educational successes (Bonner, 2001, 2003, 2005, Bonner & Jennings, 2007; Fries-Britt, 1997, 1998, 2004; Fries-Britt & Turner, 2002; Harper, 2004, 2008). With this focus, educational stakeholders, and the students themselves, often begin thinking about within-student deficits, which, in turn, leads to expectations of failure (Hughes & Bonner, 2006; Steele, 1997). Researchers and educational institutions should highlight the successful educational characteristics of high-achieving African American male students and promote success for all students. These types of research and programs might not only encourage others to think more intentionally about pushing African American students toward educational success, but more importantly, it also would encourage stakeholders to think differently about African American students and their families. This article, therefore, describes my observations of the components of a program for African American males that focuses on improving their educational success at the university level.