Kindling the Spark of Black Male Genius through Education

by Chance W. Lewis; Marlon James

Sep 1, 2014

This essay examines the nature of inopportunity associated with blackmaleness, synthesizes the narratives of the other contributors to this issue of the journal, and offers recommendations for how education can support Black males' academic, social, and cultural maturation. While African American males face daunting economic and educational challenges, James and Lewis argue that they can navigate through them to obtain academic and career success while still maintaining their identity as Black males.

  • The processes associated with becoming and maintaining excellence among Black males requires mastering an identity that is in constant flux.
  • Making early contact between Black male students and Black male educators and mentors should be a national priority.
  • Teacher preparation programs should be infused with the study of Black male identity and with teaching methods that work for Black male students.
  • The U.S. Department of Education should establish a national counsel for teaching, development and support of Black male youth.
  • Community based supports and mentoring can and should prevent Black male students from lowering their self-image to match the wider society views' of them.