Prove Them Wrong: African American Men Matter in Doctoral Education Persistence and Perspective
Millennial African American men of scholarship are engaging doctoral studies as a call to arms apace with national attention focused on the Black Lives Matter Movement (Cox, 2017). Burke (2020) asserts 3% accounts for Black male bachelor degree recipients in some fields of study such as structural engineering and atmospheric physics, graduated not a single black Ph.D., and on June 10th, 2020, Brian Nord (physicist) lead an over 4,500 STEM faculty and students’ meeting to focus on action dedicated to protecting black lives and dismantling antiblack systems in academe and STEM in wake of recent protest. It is critical that equality of opportunity extend to all persons regardless of race or ethnic origin (Moore et al., 2003; Cox, 2017). Felder (2010) and Moore et al. (2003) present three pertinent factors that subvert degree completion for African American doctoral students: (1) under-representation of minority faculty members (2) low maturation and completion of feeder undergraduate and master’s level degrees (3) external projection of intellectual inferiority. Moore (2000) confirmed that feeder programs determine the presence of African American males in advanced programs. There is a persistent underrepresentation of African American men in roles such as doctoral student, doctoral degree recipient, doctoral faculty member (Harper et al, 2016). Achievement gaps are ever widening for minority males in the educational process, and fewer of the subpopulation are Black men who obtain an advanced degree (Matthews, 2012).