The Journey of Persistence: A Case Study of African American Men in Community College



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Most of the material on post-secondary Black males focuses on this group's lack of academic accomplishment. According to research, Black males have poorer levels of academic achievement, ranking at or near the bottom of most success measures such as enrollment, persistence, engagement, and attainment (de Brey et al., 2019; Same et al., 2018). However, much of the research on post-secondary Black males is deficit-based. This study seeks to understand how this group believes their academic, social, and intrapersonal experiences have aided their persistence through community college. This qualitative study explored what motivates full-time, part-time, first-generation, second-generation, traditional, non-traditional, and working Black male students to persist toward an associate degree or certification. An Anti-deficit framework guided this study, emphasizing factors influencing persistence among Black men attending community college. The framework provided a counternarrative to the profusion of deficit-based literature on post-secondary Black males.



Academic success, African American, Black male, Anti-deficit framework, deficit thinking, Campus experience, Imposter Syndrome, Persistence