Brooms, D. R. (2018). ‘Building Us Up’: Supporting Black Male College Students in a Black Male Initiative Program. Critical Sociology, 44(1), 141–155. https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920516658940
Efforts to enhance the academic performances and educational experiences of Black males in college has exploded in the past 15 years, including institutional, state, system-level, and national programs, policies, and calls to action. Key among these efforts is establishing Black Male Initiative (BMI) programs, which primarily are structured as social cohesion programs and intended to increase students’ retention and graduation rates. Using qualitative interview data from a convenience sample of 40 Black male students at two different institutions, this project explores their engagement and experiences in a BMI program. First, I analyze students’ narratives regarding their participation and meaning-making of BMIs. I find that BMIs play a critical role in supporting students through increased access to social and cultural (sociocultural) capital while simultaneously honoring the cultural wealth students bring to campus. Second, I examine how engagement in the BMI community helped enhance students’ academic experiences and sense of self.
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