Racial Congruence, Rosenthal Effect, Critical Race Theory, Pygmalion, de facto, de jure, segregation, integration


The racial academic achievement gap in America’s public schools persists and there is solid research explaining the elements that have led to and support it. Much of this research is deficit-based and highlights the vulnerabilities of those who fall at the bottom of that gap. Not enough research is invested in celebrating, highlighting, or exploring the experiences of the Black students who perform well academically. This article represents research designed to provide a strengths-based, anti-racist view of a marginalized portion of America’s public-school students. The goal of this study was to uncover the common factors that contribute to academic success for Black students who attend public schools in the suburbs surrounding the south Chicagoland area. The findings indicate that self-efficacy, school counselors, and resilience, among other factors, are characteristics held in common by the participants of this study. The practices and conditions highlighted help these students overcome the challenges of over a century of institutionalized racism and decades of factors that contribute to the racial academic gap between Black and White children who attend American public schools.