Negotiating identities as students : exploring the impact of socio-historical context, race, and colorism on the identity development of African American adolescents
DeCuir, Jessica Theresa
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This dissertation is a collection of 3 articles that all concern the issues of race, skin color, racial identity, and the education of African Americans. The first article ishistorical as well as personal and examines the relationship between the issues of race, skin color, and racial identity and how these issues have impacted the identity development of African Americans within the school context. The second article is a critical review of the literature that explores the Black racial identity literature as it pertains to African American adolescents; it highlights shortcomings as well as provides directions for future research. The third article is a qualitative case study that examines how 6 African American adolescent high school students attempt to negotiate their sense of identity within Wells Academy, a predominately White, elite, independent school context; it specifically examines the roles of the socio-historical context, race, skin color, and self-understanding, including possible selves and collective efficacy. This collection of articles is important because it explores an underinvestigated area within education—the relationship between Black racial identity development and education. The individual articles will eventually be submitted for publication in various research journals within the areas of education and psychology.