Bonner, F. A., II, & Jennings, M. (2007). Never too young to lead: Gifted african american males in elementary school.Gifted Child Today, 30(2), 30.
Just within the past two decades, there has been a proliferation of a variety of literature, both academic and popular, regarding the underachievement and underrepresentation of African American males in U.S. schools. According to the literature, African American males have been disproportionately placed in special education classrooms and underrepresented in gifted and talented programs. Despite the efforts at broadening the definition to include multifaceted categories and criteria in the identification of giftedness, there is still a widespread underrepresentation of African American students in gifted and talented programs, by as much as 50% nationally. This article discusses the promise offered by one of the ability areas cited in the federal definition of giftedness–“leadership ability”–as a potential means of addressing the problem of underrepresentation. The article not only focuses on key mentoring initiatives, but also on promising national programs. The article concludes with practical recommendations for practitioners.
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