Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males

By Freeman A. Hrabowski, Kenneth I. Maton, and Geoffrey L. Greif

Hrabowski leads a trio of University of Maryland scholars who describe their institution’s science program to enhance the higher educational prospects of high-school-age black American men. (Hrabowski writes that his group is working in a comparable program for young black females.) The cornerstone of success, for anyone of any race, is family stability and support. For the nuances of this in the black context, the authors interviewed sons and parents, representing about 50 families, enrolled in an intensive college-prep curriculum in math and science. They extensively quote their subjects’ experiences in child raising, separating those of the fathers, the mothers, and the sons. Summarizing their anecdotes, the authors endorse such time-proven attitudes as valuing achievement, reading constantly and widely, and working hard. The authors’ main audience is educational professionals (footnotes abound), but students will still be able to identify with, and hear echoes of themselves in, the individual testimony that forms the bulk of this work.


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