Skip to main content

Peabody Journal of Education, Volume 88, Issue 4, 2013

Progressive Education, After-School Programs and their Impact on the Lives of African American Males

In this issue of the Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Carter Julian Savage leads an analysis of the role of after-school programs in the lives of African American males. In his introduction, Dr. Savage discusses the institution of after-school programs through the lens of progressive era issues such as urbanization, industrialization, immigration and “American reformation.” Knowledgeable of housing, sanitation and safety conditions of African American neighborhoods, both black and white progressives sought to improve the livelihood of young African Americans during a time of mass migration to Northeast and Midwest urban centers.

Dr. Savage’s next article highlights the founding of the Wissahicken Boys’ Club and its founder, John Thompson Emlen, who advocated racial advancement through vocational training in “colored” boys clubs. The work then examines Emlen’s views in comparison with the ideas set forth by W.E.B. DuBois in his charge for White Americans in the Philadelphia Negro. Leslie Etienne shifts the discussion to the Civil Rights Movement, when racial tensions reached a fever pitch of violence and prejudice. Despite this trend, the college student-led Student Nonviolent Coordinate Committee (SNCC) peacefully campaigned in contentious states such as Mississippi. Etienne’s work focuses primarily on the “Freedom Summer” of 1964, when the organization’s members opened “Freedom Schools” to compensate for the severe effects of intentional neglect of African American school-aged children by Mississippi schools. The article serves to highlight the need for alternative methods of academically supporting marginalized children.

Raymond A. Winbush then highlights issues in educating African American males that he asserts stem from “epistemological racism.” Winbush advocates for adoption of alternative methods developed by African American educators and discusses the warrior method as a possible approach to educating African American males. Diverging from educational methods, Earl Martin Phalen details his passion for furthering educational opportunities and outcomes for African American males and provides a commentary on lessons learned from his experiences as an organizational leader. Though his career experiences have been characterized by several difficulties and achievements, he credits the success stories of his organizations’ scholars with sustaining morale and furthering his vision.

The issue closes with a specific examination of an after-school program for African American males in Baltimore, Maryland. By analyzing and discussing results from the ACCESS-West Program’s second year evaluation, Olatokunbo S. Fashola contributes to the growing body of research on single-gender school programs and their effect on minority males. Though his findings suggest a need for a longer timeframe during which to develop staff, student and overall school continuity, he is also able to conclude that extended day programs for African American males can yield academic as well as behavioral gains.

The Peabody Journal of Education would like to sincerely thank Dr. Carter Julian Savage for organizing this excellent issue. The PJE is also thankful to each of the authors for their contributions, without which this issue examining after-school programs and their effects on the development of African American males would not be possible. We hope practitioners and researchers alike will find this discussion insightful as well as useful.

Journal abstracts are linked to titles.

Progressive Education, After-School Programs and their Impact on the Lives of African American Males: An Introduction
Carter Julian Savage

In Search of a “Benevolent Despot”: John T. Emlen and the Establishment of the First Colored Boys’ Club, 1903–1913
Carter Julian Savage

A Different Type of Summer Camp: SNCC, Freedom Summer, Freedom Schools, and the Development of African American Males in Mississippi
Leslie Etienne

Hard Bigotry, Low Expectations and Soft Support: Educating American African Boys in the United States with the Warrior Method
Raymond A. Winbush

Beyond Passion: Maximizing on Lessons Learned to Better Serve African American Males
Earl Martin Phalen

Evaluation of an Extended School Day Program for African American Males in the Context of Single Gender Schooling and Schoolwide Reform: A Case for Extending the School Day for African American Males
Olatokunbo S. Fashola