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Advising, Counseling, Mentoring and Teaching Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Settings

We and many others have written about how Black males are the most disenfranchised students in our nation’s schools. Schools as a mirror of society are often hostile to Black males. With this in mind, we (Hines and Fletcher) compiled the collection of readings by prominent scholars, as described herein.

Dr. Erik M. HinesDr. Erik M. HinesOur co-edited book, Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education: Teaching, Mentoring, Advising and Counseling, is one of the most comprehensive textbooks on Black males. Our vision was to bring together scholars and practitioners who discussed not only the salient issues plaguing Black males in education, but also to provide strengths-based solutions while showing the brilliance and talent of this population. The literature is replete with research on the negative outcomes Black males experience from employment to education as well as from health and interactions with law enforcement. We acknowledge that more work needs to be done to right the many wrongs imposed on Black males. To this end, we provide P-12 educators; college/university faculty, administrators, and staff; and other education stakeholders a blueprint to collaboratively work with Black males through a culturally responsive lens.

This edited volume comprises 19 book chapters divided into two sections: (a) primary and secondary settings; and (b) postsecondary settings. Some of the topics include literacy and math, advising Black male engineering majors, socio-emotional development, leadership, community college experiences, Black male veterans, athletes in P-12 and higher education, and the recruitment and retention of Black males in educator preparation programs. An abstract for each chapter is shared below.


Part I Primary and Secondary Settings


Chapter 1: Hines, C.M. & Alexander, L.D. (2023). Getting graphic: Resisting anti-blackness via the visual narratives of Black boys. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher  (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 3-23). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Comics and graphic novels can disrupt traditional texts by challenging the worship of the written word (Torres, 2019), a feature of white supremacy that perpetuates textual hierarchies within educational spaces. Giving all of our students access to contemporary literature that centers Black youth perspectives is not only important in decolonizing literature education but also in presenting a holistic view of Black childhood. They can be used in the classroom as subjects to challenge stereotypical depictions by centering experiences, ideas, and concepts that are often marginalized in traditional curriculum. Within this chapter, we focus on comics and graphic novels as tools to enact students’ multiliteracies and to analyze visual stories depicting BlackBoy adolescence, using the frameworks of BlackBoy Crit Pedagogy (Bryan, 2022), an equity framework that interrogates the interdisciplinary ways that Black boy students' literacy learning can be formed through the teaching and learning of Blackness, maleness, and the schooling experiences of Black boys. We utilize this framework to analyze the use of diverse comics and graphic novels to facilitate critical conversations of bringing inclusive visual texts into the classroom. We invite practitioners to reimagine curricular ideas and content centered on empowerment and Black boy adolescence and how those ideas are presented to youth through a variety of visual narratives.


Chapter 2: Fletcher, E.C., Hines, E.M., Ford, D.Y., & Moore, J.L. (2023). The career academy as a vehicle to promote Black male student interest in STEM college and career pathways. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) ( pp. 25-44). Emerald Publishing Limited.

The purpose of this study was to examine the learning experiences of high school Black males participating in an academy of engineering that was configured as a magnet school. We followed a qualitative case study design to explore the experiences of 16 Black male academies of engineering students. We identified three recurring themes from the interviews with the Black male academy of engineering students: Promoting Interests in STEM, Drawing Connections to Core Academic Concepts, and An Affinity for Hands-on Learning through the Engineering Curriculum. The results of our study helped us to better understand how academies provide a platform for Black male students' interest in engineering as a viable college and career pathway.


Chapter 3: Ford, D.Y., Moore, J.L., & Peebles, E. (2023). A perfect storm: Educational factors that contribute to miseducation and underachievement among Black students. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) ( pp. 45-66). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Dr. Donna Y. FordDr. Donna Y. FordThis chapter focuses on two aspects of the achievement gap – underachievement and low achievement among Black males in urban school contexts. More specifically, the authors explain several problems/issues confronting Black male students in P-12 gifted and talented, advanced placement, and special education programs, along with the school-to-prison pipeline – inequitable discipline in the form of suspensions and expulsions. We parse underrepresentation and overrepresentation for this student group. A central part of this discussion is grounded in the achievement gap literature on Black students in general with implications for Black males in particular. Another fundamental aspect of this discussion is the need for educators to adopt an anti-racist (social justice or civil rights) and cultural competence approach to their work, which means being equity-based and culturally responsive in philosophy and action. Suggestions for closing the achievement gap and otherwise improving the achievement of Black males are provided for educators. We also compel educators to go beyond talking about equity by setting quantifiable equity goals for minimum and maximum percentages (and numbers).



Chapter 4: Steen, S., & Bethea, C. (2023). Exploring group counseling interventions for Black boys in middle school: Using the achieving success everyday (ASE) group model for racial and mathematical identity development. In E.M. Hines and E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 67-85). Emerald Publishing Limited.

In this chapter, we explore group counseling interventions for Black males and explain the Achieving Success Everyday (ASE) group model for racial and mathematical development. We use critical race theory (CRT) as a framework to analyze school counseling (SC) and mathematics literature that focuses on Black male students to inform the reconceptualization of the ASE group model for school counselors. We examine the programs and interventions that have been published with Black male participants in school settings within the SC literature. We also examine programs and interventions that have been specially designed to improve Black males' mathematics skills. We specifically focus on gathering findings that provide successful outcomes for Black males in public schools. We examine literature that reflects the role school counselors (SCs) take when supporting Black male students' academic, social, emotional, college, and career identity development. We believe uncovering ideas to capture Black males' experiences in school settings could shed light on how to foster Black excellence. Gaining an understanding of programs and interventions for Black male students through a CRT lens could inform future research, policy, and practice in SC while combating ongoing racism that continues to persist.


Chapter 5: Small, C.L. (2023). Creating mirrors of reflection and doorways of opportunity: Engaging and supporting elementary Black males in language arts. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 87-105). Emerald Publishing.

This chapter will provide an analysis of current educational conditions of Black males within our K-12 school system and the ongoing instructional implications for school leaders working to address literacy leadership and practice. It will provide insight and motivation for school leaders as they navigate political, social, and policy systems that surround the current educational climate and instructional expectations. Readers will engage in a reflective, collaborative, and constructive learning process related to how successful school leaders enhance teaching and learning on their school campuses for Black males and what behaviors are critical to supporting teachers and students through the process. Specifically at the elementary level where foundational decoding, fluency, and comprehension skills are developed and cultivated for early learners we must be intentional with all aspects of the learning process and our instructional pedagogy. This chapter will work to expand the body of knowledge surrounding Black males as we commit to deconstructing existing and reconstructing inclusive, equitable, and just learning environments. Implications for research, policy and practice, including recommendations to support ongoing formal and informal professional learning opportunities for educators to openly discuss their understanding of Black males, challenges they face, and strategies that they have found to be successful will be disclosed.


Chapter 6: Jacobs, M., & Graves, S.L. (2023). Promoting positive academic and social-emotional development for Black boys: Focus on strengths-based protective factors. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 107-121). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Dr. Edward C. Fletcher Jr.Dr. Edward C. Fletcher Jr.Black boys report experiencing more school-based racial discrimination than any other group (Butler-Barnes et al., 2019). Additionally, Black boys are viewed as older and less innocent than their peers beginning as early as 10 years old (Goff et al., 2014). Black boys are also suspended and expelled at much higher rates than other students (Graves & Wang, 2022). As such, there needs to be an investment in asset-based research designed to understand the factors that can help Black boys cope with these perceptions. Consequently, this chapter will discuss strengths based protective factors that will aid in the promotion of positive outcomes in Black boys.


Chapter 7: Mayes, R.D., Shell, E.M., & Smith-Durkin, S. (2023). An antiracist approach to counseling gifted Black boys with disabilities. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 123-140). Emerald Publishing Limited.

While the literature on twice exceptionality is growing, it often focuses on twice exceptionality generally, overlooking within group differences that may create unique experiences for students. As such, there is a need to explicitly detail these differences to push the knowledge base forward. This chapter focuses on the unique needs and experiences of twice exceptional (2E) Black boys as they navigate K-12 schools. Further, this chapter details the ways in which school counselors may respond to their needs through comprehensive, antiracist school counseling practices. Finally, implications for policy and research are discussed


Chapter 8: Wathen, B.J., Cunningham, P.D., Singleton, P., Mittman, D.C., Ángeles, S.L., Fort, J., Freeman, R.S.F., & Hines, E.M. (2023). Creating positive academic outcomes for Black males: A school counselor's role as advocate and change agent in elementary, middle, and high school. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9)  (pp. 141-161). Emerald Publishing Limited.

School counselors are committed to serving students' social-emotional, postsecondary, and academic needs while they navigate primary and secondary school (American School Counselor Association, 2019). Much has been said about the ways in which school counselors can impact postsecondary outcomes and social emotional health. It is important that we also address the ways school counselors can impact positive academic outcomes as it is intertwined in postsecondary options and success. For Black males, academic success has traditionally been met with systemic barriers (i.e., school-to-prison pipeline, lower graduation rates, lower incomes, higher unemployment rates, and lower college going rates (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019a, 2019b, 2020a, 2020b) and low expectations. School counselors are charged to be leaders and change agents for social justice and equity in our schools by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA, 2019) and can impact systemic change. This chapter will explore ways in which school counselors can impact positive academic outcomes for Black males. School counselors as change agents and advocates are positioned to make a real impact for Black male academic success. The authors will also provide some recommendations and best practices for elementary, middle, and high school counselors as they work with students, teachers, and families from an anti-deficit model as outlined by Harper (2012).


Chapter 9: Harris, P.C., Byrd, J., Kim, H., Seward, M.D., Baker, A., Meyyappan, A., Kumar, D.N., & Nickens, T. (2023). Counseling Black male student-athletes in K-16. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 163-177).  Emerald Publishing Limited.

The authors focus on using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a lens through which to analyze the holistic welfare development of Black male student-athletes, namely their identity development and overall college and career readiness. The authors contend that if structured and delivered well with the appropriate supports, athletics can be more of a mobilizing mechanism for Black males versus an exploitive one. Specifically, athletic identity does not have to be exclusive, but rather one aspect of the student-athletes' multidimensional sense of self. To this end, the authors outline specific research, practice, and policy recommendations that address the unique challenges of Black male student-athletes in K-16.


Part II Secondary Settings


Chapter 10: Brooms, D.R., Smith, M.L., & Blalock, D.N. (2023). The lived experiences of collegiate Black men. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.) Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 181-200). Emerald Publishing Limited.

This chapter takes a panoramic view to explore the lives of collegiate Black men. We begin with brief reflections from our own experiences to position ourselves to and alongside Black men's lives and college years. After setting the stage through our own reflections, we explore the literature on Black men's lives during their college years and pay particular attention to their social statuses, campus engagement, and health and well-being. Two critical components in many Black men's collegiate experiences are how they are projected in wider US society through deficit-based perspectives and repositioned away from educational success. We interrogate these realities and advance a discussion on ways to improve the conditions, environment, and understanding of their college journeys and possibilities. We conclude with recommendations for research, practice, and policy.


Chapter 11: Spain, J.L. & Vick, N.T. (2023). The overlooked conversation: Black male success in community colleges. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.) Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 201-217). Emerald Publishing Limited.

The success of Black males in community colleges across the nation is at a pivotal turning point. Due to increased social unrest in America and the global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a renewed focus on equitable outcomes for marginalized, underrepresented, and minoritized student groups. Consequently, institutions have sought to identify innovative and effective solutions to recruit, engage, retain, and graduate Black males. In this chapter, best practices focused on the areas of advising, engagement, instruction, and programing will be discussed. The authors call for a strategic shared responsibility between Academic Affairs and Student Services to promote the educational, civic, and social success of Black males. The importance of workforce development for non-degree seeking Black male students will be explored. It is vital for community college professionals to develop cultural competency by developing a shared understanding of values and language. Other areas to be emphasized include developing consistency for psychological safe spaces, disaggregating student data, and providing access to key services and resources.


Chapter 12: Brown, D., Frazier, R.-M., Kenton, D.H., & Pollock, D. (2023). Promoting Black affirmation in advising and coaching for first-generation Black male college students' success. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9)  (pp. 219-233). Emerald Publishing Limited.

This chapter explores the concept of identity-conscious advising and coaching to support the development of First-Generation Black Male College Students during their undergraduate experience. Advising and coaching represent foundational practices colleges and universities use to support student success. Much like other aspects of education, institutions implement advising and coaching practices without consideration for how the identity of the student or the professional delivering the service influences student outcomes. First-Generation Black Male College Students' interactions within the college context are often framed by their visible, racial, and gender identities as opposed to their first-generation experience. First-Generation Black Male College Students experience microaggressions, discrimination, deficit perspectives, or negative stereotypes. By exploring an identity-conscious approach to relevant advising theories and coaching approaches, the chapter highlights the importance of building trusting, affirming relationships that lean into the lived experiences of First-Generation Black Male College Students without subjecting them to false, harmful stereotypes. This approach requires self-awareness on the part of educators and an understanding of the racialized dynamics that are inherent in the experience. Without addressing anti-Blackness, the impact of advising and coaching on First-Generation Black Male College Students is likely to have diminished or limited effects for this vital student population.


Chapter 13: Golden, M.N., Singleton, P., Cintron, D.W., Reid, M., & Hines, E.M. (2023). Living, learning (and legacy) community: A new living and learning community model for Black males. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher, E.C. (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 235-254). Emerald Publishing Limited.

A Legacy Community is a living and learning community supported by broader institutional departments (e.g., student affairs, academic affairs, foundation, and alumni affairs) that dedicate resources, opportunities, and supports intended to: (a) undo legacies of educational disparities that Black/African American males have historically witnessed and (b) build capacity for students engaged in these communities (i.e., Black/African American males) to create and leave positive legacies on their terms. In this qualitative study of Black and African American undergraduate male living and learning community (LLC) participants at a primarily white institution (Legacy House), we investigate the LLC program elements that impact participants' educational and social experiences, and foster pathways for student legacy building. Legacy house participants describe brotherhood, sense of belonging, and leaving a legacy as elements that enable positive student academic and social outcomes, campus involvement, and career readiness.


Chapter 14: Ford, J.R., Brewster, B.N., & Farmer, J. (2023). College sports teams: An incubator for Black men student leadership identity development. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 255-271). Emerald Publishing Limited.

This conceptual work synthesizes the experiences of Black men who are collegiate athletes and introduces new theoretical considerations on the formation of their leadership identities in predominantly white institutions. This scholarship focuses on historical understandings of how race and gender influenced the creation of the current Black man in collegiate identity. This work expands on Du Bois' (1903) concept of double consciousness, Fanon's (1952) views on Blackness, and Bertrand Jones and colleagues' culturally responsive leadership learning model (2016). Collectively, the three frameworks highlight the significance of leadership in the development of Black men who are student-athletes. The conclusion includes implications and recommendations for future research as we work to support and develop Black men beyond their athletic identity.


Chapter 15: Dilbert, L.L. (2023). Advising and engaging Black male veterans for postsecondary success. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9)  (pp. 273-284). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Black male student veterans enter postsecondary education with three intersecting identities that should be acknowledged through the academic and student support services provided by the institution they attend. The academic guidance provided by competent and compassionate advisors coupled with student affairs engagement contribute to the graduation of this unique population. The purpose of this literature is twofold: (a) identify and highlight effective academic support methods that contribute to Black male veteran graduation and (b) identify and highlight effective Student Affairs engagement strategies that contribute to Black male veteran graduation. The literature will further inform higher education professionals in both Academic Affairs spaces and Student Affairs spaces of collaborative partnerships that can be formed to increase the graduation rates of Black male veterans. Black male student veterans are not a monolithic population nor are the institutions they are attending. Therefore, it is also important to examine how the literature addresses advising and engagement of Black male veterans at diverse types of postsecondary institutions.


Chapter 16: Hines, M.R. (2023). Calling All Brothas: Recruiting and retaining Black males within teacher preparation programs. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9)  (pp. 285-294). Emerald Publishing Limited.

There is a national shortage of teachers of color; only 21% of teachers are from an underrepresented group (16% Black and/or Latinx), while 79% are White (National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES], 2019). While there are not a lot of teachers of color in today's classrooms, there is an even lower number of Black male teachers (approximately 2%) (NCES, 2022). These percentages do not mirror the K-12 student population, with 52% identifying as a student of color (NCES, 2019). Research informs us that having teachers of color, such as a Black male yields academic success, decreases suspension rates, increases college matriculation, and provides representation of positive role models for the K-12 students of color as well as White students (AACTE, 2019; Carter-Andrews et al., 2019). Teacher Preparation Programs must implement culturally responsive strategies to recruit and retain Black males into teaching. This chapter will share effective practices for recruiting, retaining, and advising Black male preservice teachers.


Chapter 17: Ash, B., Berry, I., Slack, T., Benjamin, L.S., & Henderson, J.A. (2023). How Black males in undergraduate engineering programs experience academic advising. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 295-313). Emerald Publishing Limited.

It is well-known and documented that despite a plethora of efforts by institutions to broaden participation in engineering, the representation, retention, and degree completion of Black males in engineering continues to lag. Coupled with a lack of representation, there is also a dearth of research that has sought to understand the experiences of Black males in engineering. In this chapter, through the lens of Hildegard Peplau's (1991) interpersonal relations theory, we sought to explore the experiences of nine undergraduate Black male engineering majors with academic advisors. Academic advisors are strategically positioned in higher education settings as guides to help students navigate college culture, policies, and procedures. Using thematic analysis, three salient themes emerged: “spots are limited,” building their own “advising team,” and prescriptive perceptions. As institutions imagine routes for broadening participation in engineering, they might also consider how they support advisors and encourage relationship development between students and advisors.


Chapter 18: Beauduy, G.J., Wright, R., Ford, D.J., Mack, C.H., & Folkes, M. (2023). Career development and Black men. In E.M. Hines & In E.C. Fletcher (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 315-339). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Many psychological, cultural, and social barriers exist that impact Black male participation in the workforce. In this chapter, authors discuss the impact that mentorship, racism, society, culture, economics, and other pertinent factors have on the career development of Black men. This chapter examines programs and strategies that effectively address the career development needs of Black men. A review of counseling interventions and their applicability to career counseling with Black men are presented. Emerging trends in career development for Black men are also discussed. In addition, provided in this chapter are personal narratives given by the authors who contextualize their career development experiences through culturally-specific career development theoretical frameworks. Lastly, implications for research, counseling, counselor education, and policy, as well as recommendations for professional development are offered.


Chapter 19: Robinson, D.A., Allen, J., & Beatty, C.C. (2023). Engaging Black college men's leadership identity, capacity, and efficacy through liberatory pedagogy. In E.M. Hines & E.C. Fletcher. (Eds.). Black Males in Secondary and Postsecondary Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 9) (pp. 341-354) .Emerald Publishing Limited.

This chapter will highlight the process of engaging Black college men in leadership learning by centering their intersecting identities. We employed liberatory pedagogy through an anti-deficit achievement framework for course design and delivery. The chapter addresses the importance and implications of understanding how engaging with same-race and same-gendered peers in formal leadership curricula can support Black men in continuing to develop their leadership identity, capacity, and efficacy. This chapter will end with key course outcomes, pedagogical methods to center identity and build leadership capacity, and key takeaways for leadership educators developing courses that engage Black college men. This chapter concludes with recommendations for research, policy, and practice and offers reflection questions for educators, advisors, and mentors to consider when designing curricula that center on Black men and their leadership learning.


Concluding Thoughts

As Hines and colleagues stated in an earlier Diverse: Issues In Higher Education op-ed, Black men and boys continue to thrive and demonstrate resilience in spite of the difficulties and stumbling blocks that are hurled at them. Educators should celebrate their achievements and accomplishments, as well as give support when things are not going well. This edited volume was created to assist education stakeholders in addressing the academic, socio-emotional, and career needs of Black males through the lens of empathy, understanding, and cultural competence. When schools and institutions of higher education create environments where Black males can thrive and can contribute to producing the next generation of men and boys who enhance our society and innovate to keep our country globally competitive.

Dr. Erik M. Hines is a Professor in the Division of Child, Family, and Community Engagement at George Mason University.

Dr. Donna Y. Ford is Distinguished Professor of Education and Human Ecology in the Department of Educational Studies at The Ohio State University.

Dr. Edward C. Fletcher, Jr. is Distinguished Professor of Education and Human Ecology in the Department of Educational Studies The Ohio State University.

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