VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
The Educated Black Man and Higher Education
Jadarius Rashaun Jackson, Candice Epps Jackson, Robin Guill Liles, and Nina Exner
In this manuscript, we discuss the seemingly fundamental conflict between the desire among African Americans, and particularly African American males, to improve their socioeconomic status, as demonstrated by their enrollment in institutions of higher education, and the reinforcement of unjust practices within academia. We examine family systems and individual personal characteristics and the role they play in Black male academic achievement through the theoretical lens of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory. Using this conceptual framework, we review the experiences of Black males, characterized by microaggressions, stigma, and internalized conflict, within academic and social settings in higher education, and the opportunities available for student affairs professionals to help ameliorate these struggles. We conclude with calling upon counselors to gain a better understanding of how their direct work with African American students in general, and with African American males in particular, as well as counselors’ ability to advocate for this group to promote systemic change, could have widespread implications for Black male student achievement.