(2020) ‘Push through everything’: using phenomenological inquiry to investigate how Black males’ socioecology and identities promote perseverance in the U. S. public education system, Race Ethnicity and Education,
Black males in the United States’ public education system must navigate and persevere in a system where norms, practices, and policies remain embedded in ideals of whiteness. Black males may, consequently, activate identities that promote a positive sense of self while encountering unfair treatment, lower expectations, and exclusion in public schools. This study applied phenomenological inquiry to identify how the socioecology of a sample of five undergraduate males who self-identified as Black, African American, and Sudanese supported their perseverance and college aspirations in the public education system. More specifically, the authors aimed to investigate characteristics of their socioecology that were essential in building those identities that reinforced pride, strength, and aspirations toward college. Findings reveal intersectional identities emerged through positive and strong relational structures and socialization and provide insight into strengthening the cultural ethos of Black males from at-risk for academic failure to at-promise for college.
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