Black Minds Matter

Introduction to Course Site

Hello and welcome to Black Minds Matter, a public course where we seek to raise the national consciousness about issues facing Black boys and men in education. My name is Luke Wood and I am a social scientist in the field of education. I am the Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Education and serve as the Director of SDSU’s Joint Doctoral Program in Education, a partnership between San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate University. I have the pleasure of serving as your professor for this learning experience.


This site will serve as the public face for the course which will be open to the public for the first hour and a half of each week. During this hour, I will provide opening commentary and then introduce guest speakers and interviewees who will discuss their research on Black boys and men in education. I am blessed that many of the greatest minds in our field have agreed to talk about their work in this public forum. We will hear from thought leaders such as Patrisse Cullers, Shaun Harper, Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, Tyrone Howard, Ilaysah Shabbazz, Pedro Noguera and many others.

To orient you to this course site, you will see five sections below. First, I’ll call your attention to the course schedule. The schedule lists our topics for discussion and guest speakers. As mentioned, their talks will be open to the public via livestream but I will also upload their talks to this course site for viewing after the session. Second, I have listed the required readings for the class. I have provided hyperlinks to these resources if you want to access them for yourself.  Third, you will also see that we have conducted interviews with a number of key scholars whose work has been foundational and critical to this course topic. These interviews will be shown in class and hosted on the course website as well. You will see their readings throughout the course syllabus.

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Fourth, you will see a listing of resources that you may find helpful in guiding your efforts to support Black boys and men. If you are aware of other resources that should be shared, please let me know. Finally, we have listed the partners who have helped to make the public offering of this course available. Their support has been critical to advancing the Black Minds Matter projects.

Finally, the public lectures will take place on Monday’s at 4:30pm Pacific Time (unless otherwise noted). Please feel free to join in and to post any questions or comments that you have in advance or during the talks using the hastag #blackmindsmatter.

Black Minds Matter is being broadcast for individual and group viewing. The following are a list of LiveStreaming Broadcast Sites (that will be streaming the course in real-time) and Replay Broadcasting Sites (that will replay the course for group viewing).

A special thank you to San Diego State University’s Instructional Technology Services for supporting the delivery of this public course.

Section 1: Speakers & Schedule

Course Professor



Dr. Luke Wood

Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Education, San Diego State University


Guest Speakers


Chance W. Lewis, Ph.D.

Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Full Professor of Urban Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Eboni Zamani Gallaher, Ph.D.

Professor of Higher Education/Community College Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Shaun R. Harper, Ph.D.

Clifford and Betty Allen Professor of Urban Leadership, University of Southern California


Patrisse Cullors

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder


Fred A. Bonner II, Ed.D.

Professor and Endowed Chair of Educational Leadership and Counseling, Prairie View A&M University


Terrell L. Strayhorn, Ph.D.

Professor and Founder/CEO, DoGoodWork Educational Consulting LLC


Tyrone Howard, Ph.D.

Professor of Urban Education and Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion, University of California – Los Angeles


Frank harris iii, ed.d.

Professor of Postsecondary Education, San Diego State University


Ryan J. Smith

Executive Director of The Education Trust–West


Robert W. Simmons III, Ed.D.

Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA)


Nesha Savage

Acting Dean of Student Development and Matriculation and Personal Growth, San Diego City College


Vanessa McCullers

Chair of Communications MOBB United for Social Change, Inc.


WEEK 1 – 10/23/17 – Linking Black Lives and Black Minds

Live Broadcast from 4:30pm to 6:30pm Pacific Time

WEEK 2 – 10/30/17- Foundations of Black Male Research and Practice

Live Broadcast from 4:30pm to 6:00pm

WEEK 3 – 11/06/17-  Ascription of Intelligence

Live Broadcast from 4:30pm to 6:00pm

WEEK 4 – 11/13/17- Assumptions of Criminality

Live Broadcast from 4:30pm to 6:00pm

WEEK 5 – 11/20/17- Campus Climates and Non-Cognitive Outcomes

Live Broadcast from 4:30pm to 6:00pm

WEEK 6 – 11/27/17- Promising Practices for Teaching and Learning

Live Broadcast from 4:30pm to 6:00pm

WEEK 7 – 12/04/17- Holistic Support for Black Male Learners

Live Broadcast from 4:30pm to 6:00pm

WEEK 8 – 12/11/17- Advancing Black Male Policy, Support and Research

Live Broadcast from 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Section 2: Readings



Teaching Boys and Young Men of Color: A Guidebook by J. Luke Wood and Frank Harris III

African American Male Students in PreK-12 Schools: Informing Research, Policy, and Practice (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education) by James L. Moore III and Chance W. Lewis

Advancing Black Male Student Success: From Preschool to Ph.D. by Shaun R. Harper and J. Luke Wood

Black Male(d): Peril and Promise in the Education of African American Males by Tyrone Howard

Teaching Men of Color in the Community College: A Guidebook by J. Luke Wood, Frank Harris III and Khalid White

Building on Resilience: Models and Frameworks of Black Male Success Across the P-20 Pipeline by Fred A. Bonner II

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Bonner, F. A., Jennings, M. E., Marbley, A. F., & Brown, L. A. (2008). Capitalizing on leadership capacity: Gifted African American males in high school. Roeper Review30(2), 93-103.

Dancy, T. E. (2014). (Un) doing hegemony in education: Disrupting school-to-prison pipelines for Black malesEquity & Excellence in Education47(4), 476-493.

Davis, J. E. (1994). College in Black and White: Campus environment and academic achievement of African American malesThe Journal of Negro Education63(4), 620-633.

Ford, D. Y., & Moore, J. L. (2013). Understanding and reversing underachievement, low achievement, and achievement gaps among high-ability African American males in urban school contextsThe Urban Review, 45(4), 399-415.

Harper, S. R. (2009). Niggers no more: A critical race counternarrative on Black male student achievement at predominantly White colleges and universitiesInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education22(6), 697-712.

Harper, S. R. (2014). (Re)setting the agenda for college men of color: Lessons learned from a 15-year movement to improve Black male student success. In R. A. Williams (Ed.), Men of color in higher education: New foundations for developing models for success (pp. 116-143). Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Harris III, F., Palmer, R. T., & Struve, L. E. (2011). “Cool posing” on campus: A qualitative study of masculinities and gender expression among Black men at a private research institutionThe Journal of Negro Education80(1), 47-62.

Howard, T. C. (2016). Why Black lives (and minds) matter: Race, freedom schools & the quest for educational equityThe Journal of Negro Education85(2), 101-113.

Howard, T.C., Douglass, T., & Warren, C. (2016). “What works?” Recommendations in transformation of Black male educational outcomesTeachers College Record118(6), 1-10.

Ladson Billings, G. (2011). Boyz to men? Teaching to restore Black boys’ childhoodRace Ethnicity and Education14(1), 7-15.

Moore, J. L. III, Madison-Colmore, O., & Smith, D. M. (2003). The prove-them-wrong syndrome: Voices from unheard African-American males in engineering disciplinesThe Journal of Men’s Studies, 12(1), 61-73.

Noguera, P. A. (2003). The trouble with Black boys: The role and influence of environmental and cultural factors on the academic performance of African American malesUrban Education38(4), 431-459.

Palmer, R. T., Davis, R. J., & Hilton, A. A. (2009). Exploring challenges that threaten to impede the academic success of academically underprepared Black males at an HBCUJournal of College Student Development50(4), 429-445.

Sealey-Ruiz, Y. & Lewis, C. (2013). Letters to our teachers: Black and Latino males write about race in the urban English classroom. In J. Landsman (Ed.), Talking about race: Alleviating the fear (274-290)Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Smith, W. A., Allen, W. R, & Danley, L. L. (2007). “Assume the position…you fit the description”: Psychosocial experiences and racial battle fatigue among African American male college studentsAmerican Behavioral Scientist, 51, 551-578.

Strayhorn, T. L. & Tillman-Kelly, D. L. (2013). Queering masculinity: Manhood and Black gay men in collegeSpectrum: A Journal on Black Men, 1(2), 83-110.

Tatum, A. W. (2008). Toward a more anatomically complete model of literacy instruction: A focus on African American male adolescents and textsHarvard Educational Review, 78(1), 155-180.

Toldson, I. A., Sutton, R. M., & Brown, R. L. F. (2012). Preventing delinquency and promoting academic success among school-age African American malesJournal of African American Males in Education3(1), 12-27.

Wood, J. L. (2014). Apprehension to engagement in the classroom: Perceptions of Black males in the community collegeInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education27(6), 785-803.

Wood, J. L., & Essien-Wood, I. (2012). Capital identity projection: Understanding the psychosocial effects of capitalism on Black male community college studentsJournal of Economic Psychology33(5), 984-995.

Black Minds Matter

Interviews with Thought Leaders

Interviews with Thought Leaders


S. Lee Merrit

The Meritt Law Firm & Attorney for the family of Jordan Edwards


Robert T. Palmer

Interim Chair and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Howard University


Ilyasah Shabazz

Educator, Activist, and Daughter of Malcolm X


Pedro Noguera

Distinguished Professor of Education, University of California, Los-Angeles


Ivory Toldson

Former Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities & Professor, Howard University


Kim Griffin

Associate Professor of Student Affairs, University of Maryland


Jawanza Kunjufu

Founder of African American Images


Jerlando F.L. Jackson

Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, University of Wisconsin Madison


James L. Moore III

Executive Director for the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male & Distinguished Professor of Urban Education, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University


Dr. Roma Jean Benjamin

Senior Pastor of New Wine Gateway Ministries International of Harrisburg, PA. Teacher, preacher, counselor, and mentor.


Donna Y. Ford

Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair at Vanderbilt University

Professor Frank Harris III (courtesy of polly card)

Section 4: Resources

In this section, we provide a listing of resources that can be helpful for those who are engaged as advocates and researchers on Black boys and men in education.


National Consortium on College Men of Color (NCCMC)

NCCMC supports postsecondary institutions in building the capacity necessary to advance outcomes for college men of color. This mission is carried out through development activities and convenings that builds a community of learners who can engage in collective sensemaking, organizational learning, and change. NCCMC member institutions are comprised of public and private community colleges and four year universities. The consortium efforts prioritize men who have been historically underserved in postsecondary education, particularly, African-American, Latino, Southeast Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander men. Click here to learn more.

Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC)

COSEBOC is a national education organization of practitioners solely focused on promoting the educational success of boys and young men of color. COSEBOC works with all schools – preK-12th grade; public, charter and private; coed and single gender. COSEBOC connects research, policy and practice and is a learning community for school leaders. Click here to learn more.

Research Resources

Black Male Education Research Collection (BMERC)

BMERC is a collection of research on Black males in education, composed primarily of peer-reviewed journal articles; books, book reviews, and magazines. The collection is focuses on writings that address the achievement gap, sport, gender identity, social justice, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the criminal justice system. The collection is hosted by the University of Texas at Austin. Click here to learn more.

RISE for Boys and Men of Color (RISE)

Research, Interventions, Strategies, and Evaluation (RISE) for Boys and Men of Color is a $10 million dollar field advancement effort that aims to better understand and strategically improve the lives, experiences, and outcomes of boys and men of color in the United States. RISE spans five fields (education, health, human services and social policy, juvenile and criminal justice, and workforce development) and focuses on four populations (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans). RISE convenes, awards grants, and produces new research focused on boys and men of color. Click here to learn more.


Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. (MOBB)

MOBB is dedicated to positively influencing how Black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement and in society. MOBB United is a nationwide coalition of concerned moms of Black sons who represent every race, age, socioeconomic background, marital status and education level. Click here to learn more.

Section 5: Partners

We would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors for their support in the development and delivery of Black Minds Matter.