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ERIC Number: EJ897046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0022-2984
Why the Black Kids Sit Together at the Stairs: The Role of Identity-Affirming Counter-Spaces in a Predominantly White High School
Carter, Dorinda J.
Journal of Negro Education, v76 n4 p542-554 Fall 2007
Many studies provide evidence for the strong influences of same-race peer networks on Black student achievement and racial identity in private and elite schools; however, research is lacking regarding these influences for Black achievers in predominantly White public schools. In this article, the author examines how nine high-achieving Black students in a predominantly White public high school created and used informal and formal same-race peer networks in their school to buffer experiences with racism and affirm their racial identity. Drawing on data from a yearlong qualitative investigation, the author discusses how the use of these identity-affirming counter-spaces serve as a positive resistance strategy for these students and allows them to maintain a strong racial sense of self in their maintenance of school success. Findings from this study reinforce the importance of having safe spaces in predominantly White learning environments for Black students to escape psychological, emotional, and physical stress stemming from experiences with racism. (Contains 2 tables.)
Howard University School of Education. 2900 Van Ness Street NW, Washington, DC 20008. Tel: 202-806-8120; Fax: 202-806-8434; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A