Yvonne Channer

This volume presents evidence which challenges the persistent myth of black educational underachievement. By 1994, DfE figures demonstrated that African Caribbean children’s performance in schools, as a group, equalled that of children overall. The author describes in this book how she gathered her evidence of high achievement and offers in-depth profiles of some subjects, highlighting neglected areas in the literature on achievement, such as religion. She explores the role of early socialization and the issues of empowerment and of status frustration and resistance. The life histories of young African-Caribbena people, all with at least a first degree, are intended to inform education planners and cause excitement in the black community. Not all the life history subjects belong to the church but they share an upbringing based on church and Christian values. The study concludes that such values helped the subjects to survive an education system that they found racist, but that the racism at the heart of British social services might be impossible for other black people to overcome. This book sets the agenda for future debate as black professionals seek to secure the life chances of the children of their community.

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