Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2015 Issue »

    Black Male College Achievers and Resistant Responses to Racist Stereotypes at Predominantly White Colleges and Universities

    SHAUN R. HARPER
    In this article, Shaun R. Harper investigates how Black undergraduate men respond to and resist the internalization of racist stereotypes at predominantly White colleges and universities. Prior studies consistently show that racial stereotypes are commonplace on many campuses, that their effects are usually psychologically and academically hazardous, and that Black undergraduate men are often among the most stereotyped populations in higher education and society. The threat of confirming stereotypes has been shown to undermine academic performance and persistence for Blacks and other minoritized students. To learn more about those who succeed in postsecondary contexts where they are routinely stereotyped, Harper conducted interviews with Black male achievers at thirty predominantly White colleges and universities. His findings show that these undergraduate men were frequently confronted with stereotypes but succeeded in resisting them through their campus leadership roles, their engagement in student organizations, and their use of a three-step strategic redirection process. Communication and confrontation skills acquired through out-of-class engagement enabled participants to effectively resist the harmful threat of racial stereotypes encountered in classrooms.

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    Shaun R. Harper is on the faculty in the Graduate School of Education, Gender Studies, and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also the founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. Harper is the author of more than ninety peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications. Review of Research in Education, Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, and Teachers College Record are some journals in which his studies have been published. His twelve books include Advancing Black Male Student Success from Preschool Through PhD (with J. Luke Wood, Stylus Publishing, 2015). In 2015 Harper was appointed to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper advisory council and recognized in Education Week as one of the fifty most influential professors in the field of education.
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    Winter 2015 Issue

    Abstracts

    The Risks We Are Willing to Take
    Youth Civic Development in “Postwar” Guatemala
    MICHELLE J. BELLINO
    Cultural Capital and Transnational Parenting
    The Case of Ghanaian Migrants in the United States
    CATI COE AND SERAH SHANI
    Toward Disciplinary Literacy
    Dilemmas and Challenges in Designing History Curriculum to Support Middle School Students
    LESLIE DUHAYLONGSOD, CATHERINE E. SNOW, ROBERT L. SELMAN, AND M. SUZANNE DONOVAN
    The Shaping of Postcollege Colorblind Orientation Among Whites
    Residential Segregation and Campus Diversity Experiences
    UMA M. JAYAKUMAR
    Black Male College Achievers and Resistant Responses to Racist Stereotypes at Predominantly White Colleges and Universities
    SHAUN R. HARPER

    Book Notes

    Learning to Improve
    Anthony S. Bryk, Louis M. Gomez, Alicia Grunow, and Paul G. LeMahieu

    How Did You Get Here?
    Thomas Hehir and Laura A. Schifter