Too Few Black Male Educators
Keywords:black males, educator, role models
In the United States, schools and universities have too few Black male teachers. Although many factors contribute to this significant problem, one primary factor is the existing lack of Black male educators to serve as role models for Black male students. This literature review captures information from peer-reviewed research, public scholarship sources, and empathy interviews. The purpose of this literature review was to understand the reasons why so few Black males are successful in school and why there are so few Black male students pursuing careers in education. Based on the literature review, the following themes were identified: a lack of financial resources, a lack of a sense of belonging, a lack of role models and mentors, and institutional racism. Colleges need to consider these issues and determine ways to support Black male students in school and encourage them to pursue a career in education. Increasing the number of Black male educators is one central way to increase opportunities among Black students. To change this narrative, one needs to acknowledge the deficit of representation is due to the system itself. Black males are not lacking in achievement. American schools are exclusive and racist in how they provide opportunities for Black males.
Achieving the Dream (2022). College readiness: Improving equitable outcomes for all students through access and success. https://www.achievingthedream.org/focus-areas/college-readiness.
Ali, S. (2015). Benjamin E. Mays Institute: Educating young Black males. Belle Isle Books.
Aud, S., Hussar, W., Johnson, F., Kena, G., Roth, E., Manning, E., Wang, X., & Zhang, J. (2012). The condition of education 2012 (NCES 2012-045). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2012045
Baber, L., Fletcher, R., & Graham, E. (2015). Black men attending community colleges: Examining an institutional approach toward equity. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2015(172), 97-107. https://doi.org/10.1002/cc.20167
Bryan, N., & Williams, T. M. (2017). We need more than just male bodies in classrooms: Recruiting and retaining culturally relevant Black male teachers in early childhood education. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 38(3), 209-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/10901027.2017.1346529
Carmichael, S. (1966). Who is qualified? The New Republic. https://www.crmvet.org/info/660108_sncc_stokely_qualified.pdf
Carmichael, S., & Hamilton, C. V. (1967). Black power: The politics of liberation in America. Vintage.
Carnevale, A. P. (2019, November 21). Working while in college might hurt students more than it helps. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
Center for Community College Student Engagement. (2014). Aspirations to achievement: Men of color and community colleges. A special report from the center for community college student engagement. https://www.ccsse.org/docs/MoC_Special_Report.pdf
Crenshaw, K. W. (1988). Race, reform, and retrenchment: Transformation and legitimation in antidiscrimination law. Harvard Law Review, 101(7), 1331-1387. https://doi.org/10.2307/1341398
Corkindale, D. (2008, May 07). Overcoming imposter syndrome. https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome
Curran, F. C., & Kitchin, J. (2018). Estimating the relationship between corporal punishment use and school suspensions: Longitudinal evidence from the civil rights data collection. Peabody Journal of Education, 93(2), 139-160.
De Brey, C., Musu, L., McFarland, J., Wilkinson-Flicker, S., Diliberti, M., Zhang, A., Branstetter, C., & Wang, X. (2019). Status and trends in the education of racial and ethnic groups 2018 (NCES 2019-038). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2019038
Department of Education (2016). The state of racial diversity in the educator workforce. https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/highered/racial-diversity/state-racial-diversity-workforce.pdf
Dinkins, E., & Thomas, K. M. (2016). Black teachers matter: Qualitative study of factors influencing African American candidates’ success in a teacher preparation program. AILACTE Journal, 13, 23-40.
Edwards, F., Lee, H., & Esposito, M. (2019). Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race-ethnicity, and sex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(34), 16793-16798. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1821204116
Ferguson, S. (2020, November 8). Overcoming imposter syndrome: Why you deserve to be exactly where you are. https://hoefttechmgmt.web.illinois.edu/overcoming-imposter-syndrome-why-you-deserve-to-be-exactly-where-you-are/
Gara, M. A., Minsky, S., Silverstein, S. M., Miskimen, T., & Strakowski, S. M. (2018). A naturalistic study of racial disparities in diagnoses at an outpatient behavioral health clinic. Psychiatry Online, 70(2), 130-134. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201800223
Glenn, F. S. (2003). The retention of Black male students in Texas public community colleges. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 5(2), 115-133. https://doi.org/10.2190/gyeu-wwer-n8w7-xtbk
Graham, A., & Erwin, K. D. (2011). “I don’t think Black men teach because how they get treated as students”: High achieving African-American boys’ perceptions of teaching as a career option (North Carolina A & T State University). The Journal of Negro Education, 80(3), 398-416. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41341142?seq=1
Grinstein-Weiss, M., Perantie, D. C., Taylor, S. H., Guo, S., & Raghavan, R. (2016). Racial disparities in education debt burden among low-and moderate-income households. Children and Youth Services Review, 65, 166-174.
Haggerty, K. P., Skinner, M. L., McGlynn-Wright, A., Catalano, R. F., & Crutchfield, R. D. (2013). Parent and peer predictors of violent behavior of Black and White teens. Violence and Victims, 28(1), 145-160. https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.28.1.145
Harper, S. R., & Kuykendall, J. A. (2012). Institutional efforts to improve Black male student achievement: A standards-based approach. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 44(2), 23-29. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2012.655234
Hines, E. M., Mayes, R. D., Harris, P. C., Vega, D. (2022). Using a culturally responsive MTSS approach to prepare Black males for post-secondary opportunities. School Psychology Review, 1-15.
Holmes, A. G. D. (2020). Researcher Positionality - A consideration of its influence and place in qualitative research - A new researcher guide. Shanlax. International Journal of Education, 8(4), 1-10
Huelsman, M. (2014). The debt divide: The racial and class bias behind the “new normal” of student borrowing. Kresge Foundation
Hughes, M., Anderson, R., Harms, J., Perez, C., Moore, H., Cannon, J., Harms, & Perez, E. (1998). Campus racial climate policies: The view from the bottom up. Race, Gender, & Class, 5(2) 139-157.
Jones, M. N. (2019). Community college faculty foster or foreclose on opportunities to improve Black male students’ success. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 26(1), 15-28. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/montezuma/jarcc/2019/00000026/00000001/art00002
Kim, E. & Hargrove, D. T. (2013). Deficient or resilient: A critical review of Black male academic success and persistence in higher education. The Journal of Negro Education, 82(3), 300-311. https://doi.org/10.7709/jnegroeducation.82.3.0300
Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Buckley, J. A. (2006). What matters to student success: A review of the literature commissioned report for the national symposium on post-secondary student success. https://nces.ed.gov/npec/pdf/kuh_team_report.pdf
Ladson-Billings, G. L., & Tate IV, W. F. (1995). Toward a critical race theory of education. Teachers College Record, 97(1), 48-62. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315709796-2
Latkin, C. A., Edwards, C., Davey-Rothwell, M. A., & Tobin, K. E. (2017). The relationship between social desirability bias and self-reports of health, substance use, and social network factors among urban substance users in Baltimore, Maryland. Addictive behaviors, 73, 133-136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.05.005
Levin, J. S., Walker, L., Haberler, Z., & Jackson-Boothby, A. (2013). The divided self: The double consciousness of faculty of color in community colleges. Community College Review, 41(4), 311-329. https://doi.org/10.1177/0091552113504454
Lewis, C. L. (2016). Understanding research methods to study African American males in college. Journal of Negro Education, 85(1), 3-15. https://doi.org/10.7709/jnegroeducation.85.1.0003
Lewis, C. W., & Toldson, I. A. (2013). Black male teachers: Diversifying the United States’ teacher workforce. In C. W. Lewis & I. A. Toldson (Eds.), Black male teachers: Advances in race and ethnicity in education, Vol. 1 (pp. xiii-xv). Emerald Group Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-2317(2013)0000001004
Linzy, C. (2016). Who is my brothers’ keeper? Stressors that African American males encounter during their college experience. Counselor Education Capstone, 24. http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/edc_capstone/24
Love, B. J. (1993). Issues and problems in the retention of black students in predominantly White institutions of higher education, Equity & Excellence in Education, 26(1), 27-36.
Lynch, M. (2016, December 6). Black boys in crisis: The lack of positive role models. The Edvocate. https://www.theedadvocate.org/black-boys-crisis-lack-positive-role-models/
Madyun, N., Williams, S. M., McGee, E. O., & Milner, H. R. (2013). On the importance of African American faculty in higher education: Implications and recommendations. Educational Foundations, 27, 65-84.
Maylor, U. (2009). ‘They do not relate to Black people like us’: Black teachers as role models for Black pupils. Journal of Education Policy, 24. 1-21.
McCoy, D., & Rodricks, D. (2015a). Critical race theory in higher education: 20 years of theoretical and research innovations. ASHE Higher Education Report 41(3). https://doi.org/10.1002/aehe.20021
McCoy, D., & Rodricks, D. (2015b). Racial microaggressions. ASHE Higher Education Report 41(3).
McFarland, J., Hussar, B., Wang, X., Zhang, J., Wang, K., Rathbun, A., Barmer, A., Forrest Cataldi, E., & Bullock Mann, F. (2018). The condition of education 2018 (NCES 2018-144). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2018144
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. (2020). Criminal justice fact sheet. https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet
Noonan, A. S., Velasco-Mondragon, H. E., & Wagner, F. A. (2016). Improving the health of African Americans in the USA: An overdue opportunity for social justice. Public Health Reviews, 37, 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40985-016-0025-4
Parker, K., Horowitz, J. M., Anderson, M. (2020, June 12). Amid protests, majorities across racial and ethnic groups express support for the Black lives matter movement. Deep partisan divides over factors underlying George Floyd demonstrations. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/06/12/amid-protests-majorities-across-racial-and-ethnic-groups-express-support-for-the-black-lives-matter-movement/
Perry-Johnson, A., Papp, D., Butler, F., Hudson, C. M., Levine, S., Nickel, S., & Wolfe, J. (2003). Summary and final recommendations of the university system of Georgia’s African-American male initiative. https://www.usg.edu/aami/assets/aami/files/Summary_and_Final_Recommendations.pdf
Polanco-Roman, L., Danies, A., & Anglin, D. M. (2016). Racial discrimination as race-based trauma, coping strategies, and dissociative symptoms among emerging adults. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, 8(5), 609-617. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000125
Rezai-Rashti, G. M., & Martino, W. J. (2010). Black male teachers as role models: Resisting the homogenizing impulse of gender and racial affiliation. American Educational Research Journal, 47(1), 37-64. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40645418
Ross, P. T., & Bibler Zaidi, N. L. (2019). Limited by our limitations. Perspectives on Medical Education, 8(4), 261-264. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40037-019-00530-x
Sandles, D. (2020). Using critical race theory to explore the Black men teacher shortage. The Journal of Negro Education, 89(1), 67-81. https://doi.org/10.7709/jnegroeducation.89.1.0067
Shih, D. (2017, April 19). A theory to better understand diversity, and who really benefits. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/04/19/523563345/a-theory-to-better-understand-diversity-and-who-really-benefits/
Solorzano, D., Ceja, M., & Yosso, T. (2000). Critical race theory, racial microaggressions, and campus racial climate: The experiences of African American college students. The Journal of Negro Education, 69(1/2), 60-73. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2696265?seq=1
Sommeiller, E., & Price, M. (2018). The new gilded age: Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county. Economic Policy Institute.
Underwood, K. (2019). Black male educators have sounded the alarm, but will we listen? Education Post. https://educationpost.org/black-male-educators-have-sounded-the-alarm-but-will-we-listen/
Underwood, K., Smith, D., Lutz-Johnson, H., Taylor, J., & Medgar Roberts, J. (2019). Having our say: Examining the career trajectories of black male educators in P-12 education. http://www.nnstoy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Having-Our-Say-V.-F.pdf
University System of Georgia (USG). (n.d.) Recruiting, retaining and graduating Black male college students. https://www.usg.edu/aami/assets/aami/files/AAMI_Brochure_2011.pdf
University System of Georgia (USG). (2021). Increasing the number of African-American males who complete their post-secondary education. https://www.usg.edu/aami/
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. (2014). Civil rights data collection data snapshot: School discipline. (Issue Brief No. 1). https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/crdc-discipline-snapshot.pdf
Watkins, D. C., Patton, D. U., & Miller, R. J. (2016). Introduction to the special issue on the intersections of race, gender, and class in the wake of a national crisis. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 24(2), 119-129. https://doi.org/10.1177/1060826516641108
White, K. J., Jr. (2020). Financial stress and the relative income hypothesis among Black college students. Contemporary Family Therapy, 42, 25-32. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-019-09531-8
Wolfman- Arent, A. (2021, June 30). Philly’s prodigal son: The making — and near breaking — of a Black male teacher. https://philadelphia.chalkbeat.org/2021/6/30/22557982/phillys- prodigal-son-the-making-and-near-breaking-of-a-black-male-teacher/
Wood, J. L. (2012). Bottom line: From the “right to fail” to the “right to succeed”--Black males in community colleges. About Campus, 17(2), 30-32. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ970661
Wood, J. L., Newman, C. B., & Harris III, F. (2015). Self-efficacy as a determinant of academic integration: An examination of first-year Black Males in the community college. Western Journal of Black Studies, 39(1), 3-17.
Woodson, A. N., Jones, J., & Gowder, S. (2020). The world they’ve been born into: Black male teachers on blackness, masculinities and leadership. Race Ethnicity and Education, 23(3), 307-326. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2019.1663964
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Revised 7/16/2018. Revision Description: Removed outdated link.