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Unraveling Underachievement among African American Boys from an Identification with Academics Perspective
Jason W. Osborne
The Journal of Negro Education
Vol. 68, No. 4 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 555-565
Published by: Journal of Negro Education
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2668154
Page Count: 11
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Many theories attempt to explain why, despite all efforts, African American boys continue to lag behind their White counterparts. This article reviews three prominent theories addressing the social and cultural factors that can inhibit academic excellence among these youth: Steele's stereotype threat model, Ogbu's cultural-ecological perspective, and Majors and Billson's "cool pose" theory. All three emphasize the barriers that prevent African American boys from incorporating academics as an important part of their self-concepts, theoretically explaining the achievement gap. The article reviews possible courses of action to facilitate identification with academics and thus improve achievement.
The Journal of Negro Education © 1999 Journal of Negro Education