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Stakes Is High


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Table of Contents

an invocation . . . for Black young men


1. "They don't give us a chance to be us": Black Boys' Sense Making and Theorizing about Their Lives

Part I: Secondary School Experiences

2. "I needed to get out": Educational Desires and the Urban Neighborhood

3. "I always knew that I was smart": Personal Perspectives and Educational Pursuits

4. "Getting the preparation and knowledge about college": Schooling and College-Going Support

Part II: Collegiate Experiences

5. "I knew I was gon' struggle": Stories and Expectations of College Struggles

6."I never wanted to give up, but . . .": Navigating and Coping with Challenging Experiences

7. "I didn't have no Plan B": Staying Focused on Collegiate Goals

8. "I'm creating my own story": Young Black Men Enacting and Embodying Agency

Part III: Lessons

9. "Sometimes the odds are just stacked against you": Reassessing the Challenges That Make Education High-Stakes

10. Looking Forward: Addressing the Stakes for Black Boys and Young Men


About the Author

Derrick R. Brooms is Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author of Being Black, Being Male on Campus: Understanding and Confronting Black Male Collegiate Experiences, also published by SUNY Press.


“This book is unique in that is offers the readers an opportunity to learn the experiences of eight African American young men’s educational journey in a nonjudgmental assessment. Too often, African American boys, young men, and men are viewed through a stereotypical and dysfunctional lens. Brooms humanizes them by allowing them to tell their stories; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautifully resilient.” — William A. Smith, University of Utah

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