This book is essential for those of us who are working to support Black students in our classrooms. Dr. Cokley does an amazing job of integrating in depth research with personal experience in an accessible way. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to better guide their students!
— Katelyn Kitchens

No other group of students has been more studied, more misunderstood, and more maligned than African American students. The racial gap between White and African American students does exist: a difference of roughly 20 percent in college graduation rates has persisted for more than the past two decades.  Since 1988, the racial gap on the reading and mathematics sections of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) has increased from 189 points to 201 points. 

What are the true sources of these differences? In The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism: A True Psychology of African American Students (Praeger, 2014), psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Black Psychology Dr. Kevin Cokley delves into and challenges the dominant narrative regarding black student achievement.  He examines the themes of black identity, the role of self-esteem, the hurdles that result in academic difficulties, and the root sources of academic motivation. He proposes a bold alternate narrative that uses black identity as the theoretical framework to examine factors in academic achievement and challenge the widely accepted notion of black anti-intellectualism. 

Who should read this book?  The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism is valuable to all educators, especially those at the high school through undergraduate college/university level, as well as counselors associated with academic and community institutions, social service providers, policy makers, clergy and lay staff within the faith-based community, and parents.  Though framed by academic research, The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism is easy to understand for all who are interested in how schools can become more effective educators of all minorities of color.  


Kevin Cokley’s The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism is an important contribution to our understanding of African American students, their diverse incentives for learning, and the effects of the academic environments in which they learn. Cokley’s text accomplishes what few in the field even attempt—it renders black students as full, complex human beings. In a compelling combination of autobiographical journey and scholarly inquiry, Cokley tests multiple hypotheses of identity, race, bias, and achievement to provide a full picture of the complicated educational world black students navigate.
— Melissa Harris-Perry, Presidential Endowed Chair in Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University; Director, Anna Julia Cooper Center; Host, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry
Not long after Kevin Cokley started kindergarten, he was assigned to a remedial speech therapy program. He was puzzled to notice that most of other kids in the program were African-American like him, although the school was mostly white. Cokley went on to become an expert in African-American psychology and academic identity, and he opens this book with compelling personal anecdotes. In The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism, he draws on decades of research to argue that there is a deeply damaging, pervasive belief in schools that black students fall behind because they inherently lack academic motivation. To the contrary, Cokley says that many black students find that school simply isn’t relevant to their lives—and changing that is the first step to fixing a very broken system.
— Alcade, Official Publication of the University of Texas, Dec. 19, 2014

Book details
Publisher: Praeger, November 11, 2014
Series: Practical and Applied Psychology
Hardcover: 131 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1440831564
ISBN-13: 978-1440831560