African American students’ ability to persist in an educational system that has historically viewed them as uneducable is a testament to their persistence and resilience. The authors provide a brief historical overview of how African American students have been treated since they were first brought to what later became the United States. A social justice framework is discussed as a solid foundation for addressing current inadequacies, with emphasis on the need for school counselors to move beyond their traditional understanding of the so-called “achievement gap.” Using a contextual humanistic approach, the authors suggest micro and macro level action steps that school counselors can take to enhance their efficacy when working with African American students.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Student Counseling and Personnel Services