Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum
Edited By C. Spencer Platt, Darryl B. Holloman and Lemuel W. Watson
Chapter Six: Everyday Struggle: Critical Race Theory and Black Male Doctoral Student Experience
C. SPENCER PLATT
Although Black males receive a great deal of attention in the popular media, much of it is negative, as images of drug dealers, gangsters, players, “baby boys,” and underachievers dominate the dialogue. For many, these depictions of Black men shape their entire understanding of the lives and lifestyles of Black men. However, this chapter will examine the experiences of Black male doctoral students (BMDS), a group that seldom receives attention in the popular media and does not receive much more attention in the academic literature. Nonetheless, it is important to examine the experiences of Black male doctoral students with regard to masculinity because it expands our conception of what it means to be a Black male in important ways: 1) they are a model of academic achievement and success as highly educated students en route to earning the highest academic degree available; 2) this chapter underscores the challenges these students encounter with regard to maintaining their cultural identity; and 3) understanding the experiences of BMDS at a predominantly White research university may provide insight on how students of color may be able to navigate their educational experiences at earlier educational levels. ← 107 | 108 →
Black students rank at or near the bottom on nearly every quantifiable measure of scholastic achievement in grade school, high school, and in college (Feagin & Sikes, 1995; Jencks & Phillips, 1998; Tierney, 1999; Porter, 2006; Harris, 2006; Cuyjet, 2006). Measures include grade point average, graduation...
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