Realizing the intended outcomes of Brown: High-achieving African American male undergraduates and social capital
Equitable access to social mobility and advancement through education were among the intended outcomes of the Brown v. Board of Education case and related legislation. Despite this, scholars have illuminated the ways in which colleges, universities, and schools continually disadvantage African American male students. Although the evidence overwhelmingly confirms that many of the goals and promises of Brown remain unfulfilled, a different perspective is offered in this article. Specifically, ways in which high-achieving African American male undergraduates gain, negotiate, and benefit from access to powerful social networks on predominantly White campuses are presented herein. Findings from interviews with 32 high achievers at six large public research universities show a clear nexus between campus leadership, active out-of-class engagement, and the acquisition of social capital. The ways in which the participants leveraged their access to social networks and activated their social capital for goal actualization during and immediately after college are also discussed.
Harper, S. R. (2008). Realizing the intended outcomes of Brown: High-achieving African American male undergraduates and social capital. American Behavioral Scientist, 51(7), 1029-1052.