Reynolds, R. (2010). “They think you’re lazy,” and Other Messages Black Parents Send Their Black Sons: An Exploration of Critical Race Theory in the Examination of Educational Outcomes for Black Males.Journal of African American Males in Education, 1(2), 144-163.
Parents play an integral role in the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development of their children. We know that school success has been associated with parents’ involvement and engagement1 practices. Studies have shown that despite socioeconomic disparities, children whose parents are involved perform markedly better than those whose parents are not. Little research has looked exclusively at parent involvement and its effects on the educational outcomes of Black males. A qualitative study conducted with Black parents and their involvement and engagement practices as the focus proved that this relationship warrants scholarly attention using Critical Race Theory as a tool for examination. Parents in this study were involved in their children’s educational processes in ways not always validated or valued by schools. Instead of engaging in conventional forms of involvement such as volunteering in the classroom, parents spent time and resources supplementing their children’s education at home. Subtle acts of racism manifested through micro aggressions were detected by parents when interfacing with school officials2 and these exchanges prompted candid conversations with their sons. According to the parents in this study, deliberate messages about racism and educator expectations were often critical supplements for their Black sons in order to ensure educational success.
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