R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, writing for Ebony about “a comprehensive study of Black males who have excelled at college and beyond”:
The overwhelming majority of stories and studies that are concerned with Black males, from cradle to the grave, tend to look at what’s “wrong.” This type of approach is known as a deficit model because it assumes there is something wrong and often assumes that the problem lies within Black males. Deficit approaches usually pay lip service to social inequalities like poor schools, disproportionate policing, and an unstable job market. Yet these theories tend to suggest that once Black men get their act together, they can have the same access and opportunities as other Americans. This approach does little, if anything, to move Black men from the lower ranks of American society.
The CSREE study begins with an alternative perspective – a strength based approach. Rather than document ad nauseam what ensnares Black male mobility, the report asks what do Black males, their communities, and their schools do to ensure success? From this approach we see not just what is going right but how to expand these practices so more can excel.