Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women

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

This book follows up on Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males (1998), this time focusing on young black women who have successfully completed a special course of science and technology at the University of Maryland. While noting the similar problems faced by both black male and female adolescents–racism, lower incomes, fewer educational opportunities–the authors focus on the particular challenges facing young black women as they struggle to overcome the stereotypical image:

high-school drop-out, unwed mother, welfare recipient. Drawing on interviews with students and parents, the authors answer the question, What does it take to succeed academically? Separate chapters allow mothers and fathers to voice their particular concerns about and approaches to raising black women, including how to exercise discipline, provide support, and keep students motivated. And the young women themselves speak about the challenges they face and how they keep themselves focused. Most of the literature on young black women focuses on problems; in welcome contrast, this book is an inspiration and a valuable resource for parents and students.


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