This chapter details how local racial contexts and educators’ readings of those contexts shape actions they took in sponsoring Black students. Sponsorship was understood as the process in which agents provide, stymie, and/or enhance access to valued resources. The author utilized data collected during a yearlong ethnography of two high schools – one urban and the other suburban – both within a metropolitan Midwestern city. Findings from the study highlighted that teachers’ involvement in sponsorship was shaped by how they understood local racial disparities and contrasting views of equality. First, teachers noted residential segregation patterns as evidence of past and present manifestations of systemic racism that disadvantaged Black students. Second, they relied on their knowledge of racialized educational disparities to shape equitable actions. Third, teachers employed a restrictive equality approach to argue that access to high-performing schools was enough for some Black students in order to neglect modifying assignments. The need exists for researchers to examine complexities of sponsorship and how racism (re)shapes actions sponsors take toward fostering Black student academic success. Additionally, it is important for teachers to deepen their understanding of systemic racism and its manifestations within particular localities.
Powell, S. (2016), "Relying on Local Contexts to Foster and Thwart Black Student Academic Success: An Ethnographic Account of Teachers Fostering Academic Success for (Some) Black Students", New Directions in Educational Ethnography (Studies in Educational Ethnography, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 97-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-210X20150000013004Download as .RIS
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