ERIC Number: ED400250
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Three "Warring Souls" of African American High School Students.
Townsend, Brenda L.; Patton, James M.
In addition to the typical affective and social challenges faced by most learners with gifts and talents, African American students must negotiate additional challenges emanating from their unique culture. The identification of the social skills and processes utilized by these learners to negotiate their "warring souls" has been unexplored. These identities are: (1) African American in African-rooted culture; (2) African American in mainstream culture; and (3) African American in gifted culture. It has been hypothesized that the challenges facing these students, their families, educators, and this society result from conflicts that emanate from their transcultural experience. A preliminary, qualitative research project was conducted. Focus groups were convened at a small high school in Richmond (Virginia) that serves primarily African American learners with gifts and talents and at a high school in Tampa (Florida) with a student population of 1,880. Students' responses revealed several patterns: (1) students reported rarely feeling that they had to hide their giftedness; (2) students did not feel they had to choose between the identity of African American and gifted; (3) students who were statistical minorities in class expressed frustration with being forced to engage in activities typical of dominant culture youth; and (4) students asserted that adapting their behaviors to different settings was automatic. Given the tensions within and among the settings where these students spend significant amounts of time, it is proposed that culturally-affirming strategies are needed to prevent or reduce the inner turmoil the students experience. (Contains 22 references.) (JLS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A