In this book, psychology professor and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Black Psychology Kevin Cokley, PhD, delves into and challenges the dominant narrative regarding black student achievement by examining the themes of black identity, the role of self-esteem, the hurdles that result in academic difficulties, and the root sources of academic motivation. He proposes a bold alternate narrative that uses black identity as the theoretical framework to examine factors in academic achievement and challenge the widely accepted notion of black anti-intellectualism. This book will be valuable to all educators, especially those at the high school through undergraduate college/university level, as well as counselors associated with academic and community institutions, social service providers, policy makers, clergy and lay staff within the faith-based community, and parents.
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When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.
Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.