African American middle and high school students' experiences in a predominantly Hispanic educational environment: An exploratory study

Sandra Elaine Braham, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This study explores the experiences of African American middle and high school students who attend school in a predominantly Hispanic educational environment. Hispanics have become the nation's largest minority group. Specifically, this research explores African American identity development in a Hispanic context, African American students' relationships with Hispanic teachers and African American students' assessment of their sub-minority status—that is being a minority who lives in a community where Hispanics comprise the majority. To approach these topics, I utilized a qualitative methodology that was guided by conducting in-depth, phenomenological interviews. A total of seven middle and high school students participated in the study and each was interviewed on three separate occasions. Several theoretical frameworks aided in my analysis and interpretation of the data including identity development, stereotype threat, and power and control in multiethnic schools. ^ This research demonstrates the need to strengthen multicultural training and development at the educator preparation and school district levels. Also demonstrated are numerous challenges to educating non-Hispanics in the context of a Hispanic majority, including the need to address language issues at multiple levels. African Americans who were born in Bordertown assessed their educational experiences differently than those who relocated to the city. A lack of exposure to African Americans has contributed to the prevalence of stereotypes that are derived from historical and media accounts. ^ Finally, this research demonstrates the need to recruit more African American teachers and challenges African American parents, community leaders and educators to promote activities that assist African American youth in understanding their culture, history and current status. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Black Studies|Education, Administration|Education, Secondary|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Braham, Sandra Elaine, "African American middle and high school students' experiences in a predominantly Hispanic educational environment: An exploratory study" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3168479.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3168479

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