Rejecting the Pathological Discourse of African American Males

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

Since 1960, we have seen strong efforts to change the face of education as it relates to injustices of the past. Today we are still on the swinging pendulum of addressing the equity problem in the educational system. More specifically, the experiences of African Americans are one of the most explored civil rights issues in research; however, African American men, without a doubt, have experienced more intense discrimination than their female counterparts. Many past challenges are still present in education and continue to be influenced by historical discourse. Despite barriers that threatened the academic success of the participants in this study, they were able to persist and complete a college degree. Using the critical race theory lens as the framework for this study, counter narratives were used to highlight the academic success stories of five African American males who completed college. Although their narratives represent different experiences, their stories captured the academic success shared by many African American males. Using counter narratives such as the one in this study can help disrupt the academic discourse that suggests African American males are academic failures. Each participant in this study provided his own narrative of academic success. They brought a wealth of experiences and shared the hurdles they faced and cleared on the road to academic success. Their narratives revealed that academic programs, teacher support, parental and family support, extra-curricular activities, peers, and mentors were tremendously impactful on their academic success.

Embargo status: Restricted until 01/2023. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.

Discourse, Deficit