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Toward a Black Habitus

Fri, April 28, 8:15 to 9:45am, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Floor: Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 3


This article explores the Black habitus of African American students and parents by revealing systemic inequalities in their home, school, and community, while also illuminating the agency and cultural knowledge in their community. Using ethnographic case study data from 38 African American students and 26 parents who lived in a poor Black neighborhood and attended a predominantly White middle school, the researchers move beyond pathologies of Black life and culture to distinct struggles that heavily influenced educational experiences. The negative perceptions of their neighborhood and intergenerational tracking were implicated in an unequal distribution of knowledge, resources, and opportunities. Moreover, the agency and cultural knowledge of African Americans were unacknowledged, thereby further contributing to systemic inequalities.