Why do African American Males Drop Out of High School? Thirteen Case Studies

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This research was an opportunity to explore the personal stories of a group of young African American males that may be seen as an indication of the conditions that have affected our larger society. It deconstructs the common myth that drop outs are the trouble makers or low achievers in school and it inspires us to reconsider and challenges our present teaching approach to this demographic group.


“Geraldine Bryant brings us a message from these twelve young men. It is a message that the black community may not want to hear because it may cause anger and frustration. The white community may not want to heat it because it implies blame. Regardless, it is a message which must be heard by all, because in the end it is a missive of hope and offers all of us tools with which to begin the construction of our own redemption.”
-Dr. Talbot W. Rogers,
Lincoln Memorial University,
Executive Leadership Department

“The subject matter is sensitive and the situation created by a history that people of today do not want to address or own up to... Blame should not be the area of concern but how do we move forward and create an environment that allows all students to live up to their potential, enjoy their time in school and realize they are of value and have something to contribute to society.”
-Arvada Milton, Ed.S
Dowell Elementary School

Table of Contents

Publisher’s Preface
Foreword by Dr. Talbot W. Rogers
Chapter I: Introduction
Challenges for African American Males
The Structure of African American Families
Self-identity and Academic Self-Efficacy
Societal and Economic Obstacles for African American Males
African American Male Dropouts
School Climate and African American Males
Consequences of Dropping Out for African American Male
A Quality Education for African American Males
National Response to the Dropout Rate
Purpose of Study
Research Question
Research Methodology
Chapter 2: The Participants
Chapter 3: The Theme of Loss
Chapter 4: The Theme of Resilience
Chapter 5: Breaking Bad Habits
Chapter 6: Summary of Findings
Chapter 7: Conclusions
Chapter 8: Discussion
Recommendations for Further Research
Appendix A: Interview Questions
Subject Index
Author Index

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