Foreword by: Duane Cooper
Afterword by: Erica N. Walker
Publication Date: August 26, 2022
For more than 175 years, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played a significant role in educating Black students. This book examines the experiences of a cohort of 16 Black male math majors at Morehouse College referred to as “the mathematical brotherhood.” Through the lenses of Black masculinity and critical race theory, the author employs an asset-based approach to tell a captivating story about this cohort within a racially affirming learning community. Readers will hear how Morehouse empowers the students, as well as how they navigate and manage ongoing racial challenges, mathematical spaces, and society. Amplifying the voices of the participants, the study showcases the nation’s top producer of Black male math majors, extends the knowledge base regarding HBCUs’ multigenerational legacy of success, and makes a significant contribution to the growing body of discipline-based education research. The author provides recommendations for families, educators, policymakers, and researchers to improve Black boys’ and men’s mathematics achievement and academic outcomes.
Christopher C. Jett is professor of mathematics education in the Department of Computing and Mathematics at the University of West Georgia. He received an NSF CAREER award, the 2019 Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) Early Career Award, and a 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
“This book has potential for broad impact, as the insights about these men’s development can be useful to educators in grade schools, colleges, and universities and can be replicated in the development of Black boys and men in mathematics, where we remain sorely underrepresented.”
—From the Foreword by Duane Cooper, associate professor of mathematics, Morehouse College
“There is much to be learned and, hopefully, put into practice at institutions and departments that recognize the importance of care and real investment in students’ potential….We are fortunate to have heard the mathematical stories told by these wise and thoughtful students, brought to life by this talented scholar.”
—From the Afterword by Erica N. Walker, Clifford Brewster Upton Professor of Mathematical Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
“Dr. Jett reveals innovative strategies to teach math to Black males by recalling stories of math students at Morehouse College set against the backdrop of modern race and gender dynamics in the United States. Black Male Success in Higher Education masterfully connects mathematical sciences and culture, making it a must-read for anyone interested in using math as a mechanism to increase the inclusion of Black men in higher education.”
—Ivory A. Toldson, professor, Howard University
“Dr. Christopher Jett has long been a gift to mathematics, to Morehouse College, and to the many young men he has mentored in the classroom and beyond. Now he offers yet another gift to us—undeniable evidence of the transformative power of Black male fraternity in mathematics. An intergenerational story of how interest in a single subject can transform a life and, by virtue of it, many, many more, Jett's Black Male Success in Higher Education gives readers a good look at both the roots and wings of student success at the nation's more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Of course, what we do with what we learn in these pages is up to us. But the case is clear: Supportive, nurturing, and affirming environments are built by everyday people's everyday choices. We too, in our choosing, are afforded the opportunity to do for the present and future generations what previous generations did for us.”
—Crystal A. deGregory, historian and research fellow, Center for Historic Preservation, Middle Tennessee State University