From Boys to KINGS: Examining the Perceptions and Perspectives of African American Male Participants of the 100 KINGS Youth Development Program

Rodney D Smith, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This study explored the perceptions and perspectives of African American male students with regard to their experiences in a youth development initiative sponsored by a community-based organization. This examination aimed to ascertain the aspects of the program that, first, prompted the students to be a part of the initiative, but also those features that sustained their interest. Specifically, the students were asked to pinpoint the program's impact on their academic achievement, personal growth and future aspirations. The study included seven (7) young African American men with an age range of 18 to 19 years. The students have been participants in the aforementioned youth development initiative since its inception in 2003. The study's data collection process included two (2) focus group discussions followed by individual interviews with select participants chosen via purposive sampling. This research design combined heuristic inquiry with hermeneutic ethnography while functioning from an African American epistemology, which allowed the researcher to be an intricate part of the research while establishing the African American community at the center of the analysis. During data analysis, the researcher categorized, organized and combined data in an effort to identify trends, insights, values, ideals and beliefs. The analysis was an exercise in inductive reasoning and was grounded in the participants' perceptions and perspectives. When making conclusions about the collected data, the constant comparative method was utilized. The findings yielded seven emergent themes that conveyed the participants' appreciation of the competent and consistent guidance they received, positive African American male gender identity development, constructive vision forecasting, the academic skill building they were afforded, early exposure to cultural and educational activities, family involvement and a familial brotherhood that materialized.^

Subject Area

African American Studies|Education, Sociology of|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Rodney D Smith, "From Boys to KINGS: Examining the Perceptions and Perspectives of African American Male Participants of the 100 KINGS Youth Development Program" (2011). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3454422.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3454422

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