Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Higher Education

First Advisor

Franklin Tuitt, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

William Cross, Jr., Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lolita Tabron, Ph.D.


Black males, A Gardener's Tale, Race, Racism, Autoethnography, Equity


This doctoral research praxis project discusses the status of Black males in education, provides explanations on the educational disparities that exist for Black male students, and defines possible strategies to remedy the persistent and chronic problem of Black male underachievement in schools. Racism is viewed as one of the factors that contributes to the dilemma of Black male students’ underachievement in school. To better understand the educational disparities, Jones’s conceptual framework, three levels of racism: “A Gardener’s Tale,” was discussed to deconstruct the ways racism may possibly occur within the educational system. Autoethnography was used as the most appropriate mode to examine how the researcher, via self-narratives, experienced and navigated through the three levels of racism to promote equitable practices for the success of Black male students in public schools. The major findings of this study suggest that merely dismantling institutionalized racism will not resolve the challenges Black males experience in schools. Consequently, the research revealed that a heavier emphasis on personally mediated racism and internalized racism must occur in schools through continuous engagement in courageous conversations about race and racism.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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