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Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement among African-American Students Paperback – February 2, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1ST edition (February 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807031054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807031056
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Perry, Steele, and Hilliard . . . challenge the terms of the current conversation that denies Black students' gifts and they offer models for achieving excellence despite the burdens of racist stigma and stereotype . . . [An] important and powerful book . . . Offers a forceful antidote to the victim-blaming that pervades most policy discussions on Black achievement. --Charles Lawrence, Boston Review

"Forget what you think you know about the achievement gap between white and black students. In Young, Gifted and Black, three professors lay out the research that shows what you 'know' is probably wrong." --American School Board Journal

"I am awed by the lucidity and careful crafting of these essays. The authors-all scholars of impeccable credentials in their respective fields-capture with unprecedented cogency the real issues surrounding the so-called 'achievement gap.' No one who reads this book can ever suggest that we don't know what to do to promote high achievement for African-American students. The question is, do we really want to do so." --Lisa Delpit, Florida International University, author of Other People's Children

"While the authors of the three essays in this thought-provoking volume disagree on many things, all agree that we must have a 'better understanding of what it is we are asking African-American youth to do when we ask them to commit themselves, over time, to academic achievement . . .' The solutions offered by each essay are creative, inspirational, and good old common sense." --Los Angeles Times

"In a remarkable essay, . . . Steele takes [a] very common coming-of-age experience and turns it into a hopeful solution . . . In just 22 pages, [Steele] proposes several solutions, as do the other contributors." --Jay Matthews, Washington Post

"These three very different essays go a long way toward raising the level of the national discussion about 'achievement gaps.'" --Charles Payne, Duke University

About the Author

Theresa Perry is Professor of Africana Studies and Education at Simmons College. She is co-author ofYoung, Gifted and Black, and co-editor of The Real Ebonics Debate, among other books. She is faculty director of the Simmons College/Beacon Press Race, Education and Democracy Lecture and Book Series.

Claude M. Steele, formerly of Stanford University, is the provost and professor of psychology at Columbia University.

Asa Hilliard III (1933-2007) was the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Great for our nine year old.
Leslie
Very interesting take on African Americans and education.
Holly
Anyone who works in education should read this.
Vanessa Brea

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By jasoneducator on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm currently researching strategies for successful SAT work with low scoring students. Having read the academically oriented "Black White Test Score Gap", I decided to pick this up to find some additional strategies for working with low scoring students.

This book is divided into three essays and they have three distinct focuses. Theresa Perry's essay is very philosophical. She argues that there is a literacy tradition in black America that is often overlooked as we seek solutions to educational problems. "Freedom for literacy and literacy for freedom" is a tradition that shows how in slavery times and the segregated 20th century we have seen literacy as a key for full citizenship. Perry looks at narratives to find common themes in stories that argue for literacy as a black value.

I found this essay helpful because I can recall my own awakenings reading "Roots" and "Autobiography of Malcolm X" where I felt more empowered and assertive as I realized that my struggles and frustrations were common to the black experience. I felt that the theory and philosophy of this essay was stronger than the solutions, however. I would also like to have seen how mathematical and technological literacy could have been incorporated into this theory.

Claude Steele's "Stereotype Threat" essay is an update on some things he's written in magazines and is a more accessible version of an essay that he authored in "Black-White Test Score Gap". I found this essay to be far more helpful than the more technical description of his work in "Black White Test Score Gap". Here he argues that we have to address self-imposed pressures of high scoring students to help them succeed in testing environments and help them work more efficiently.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Bowen on April 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has useful information for individuals working to improve educational systems at all levels. The first chapter makes explicit a part of the context of the African American educational experience in the US--the long, resilient tradition of the quest for literacy. This history is well-known among African American educators, but is useful to white allies who can use the reminder and the specifics, and critical to others who may slide too easily into negative group stereotypes.

I love Claude Steele's work on stereotype threat and value his comprehensive summary chapter here. It adds concrete strategies to the body of experimental research he has contributed to the scholarly literature. Hilliard's chapter has an even greater number of useful strategies and makes the important point that educators should aim for excellence in the academic performance of their African American students, not just performance that equals the performance of whites. His presentation of numerous examples of classrooms that produce enthusiastic, knowledgeable, skilled learners is a must-read among educators who find themselves blaming students and families for low performance. Good instructors are in short supply and will continue to be a problem in the foreseeable future, but there are many strategies and thought patterns in this book that schools can immediately put into place to support the success of African American learners. In fact, when instructors understand the major themes of this book, they will naturally be better teachers of all children. I'm passing this book on to state educational administrators.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By alltatup on August 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
The authors present persuasive and enlightening infomation in three distinct essays. Perry presents background historical material on the African American tradition of literacy as well as a theory of promoting high achievement currently; Steele's essay addresses "stereotype threat" and how it affects academic performance, and Hilliard explains how good teachers facilitate excellent students. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand what the issues in closing the African American achievement gap are really about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nms1 on July 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. The book gave a good hypothesis as to why African Americans succeeded in education previously but seem to be struggling in the current environment. One thing that was profound to me was that for so long African Americans and education were tied to freedom and now that education is free, what are we going to tie education to. Great Book!!!!
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Format: Paperback
This was probably THE best book I've read in a long time. This book is not just for educators. It is written in a way that makes it informative to ANYONE interested in African-American history or how the history of a group in the country can affect how the group interacts with other institutions. Also, this is not a long book, nor is language TOO difficult so I feel that ANYONE should be able to read this. The book consists of three essays, one of which is broken into three parts.

The first essay, by Perry, is three parts. I absolutely LOVED this entire section. It does an exceptionally good job of supporting her argument that there always has been an African-American philosophy of education and proposes that this philosophy is actually probably the best tool there is to increase achievement of African-American students. I just thought the evidence Perry gave of this African American educational philosophy was very thorough.

The second essay discusses Steele's theory of stereotype threat, with which I was already very familiar. His essay does a good job of describing the concept to those who AREN'T already familiar with it and adds a bit more for those who already know it. Basically, stereotype threat is a concept to explain how ANY person (not just black people) can experienced decreased performance (not just in school, but anywhere) because of the real threat of fulfilling a negative stereotype. The essay discusses research he and others did with blacks, women, white men, as well as others. The essay also did a good job explaining how race and racism can still impact the performance of blacks who are not economically disadvantaged.

The last essay, which was by Hilliard, was actually my favorite.
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