Influences on academic talent development of Black females : systematic review and case study.


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Although Black females are the majority of the Black population in colleges and universities, Black women are still underrepresented in advanced degree programs. Moreover, Black females are underrepresented in other areas such as research, K-12 gifted and advanced education programs, and higher-paying jobs. Few studies explore how high-ability Black females manage to attain advanced degrees despite the intersections of race, gender, and ability. For this reason, this project encompasses two studies. From a growth perspective, the first paper examines the literature related to the intrapersonal and environmental influences on the academic talent development of Black girls. A systematic protocol determines the selection of 43 scholarly articles for this review. Through the thematic analysis from each of the article's Results and Findings sections, findings suggest five major themes related to Black female academic achievement. Specifically, academic identity, racial identity, aspirations and expectations, relationships, and academic institutions can influence the talent development of Black girls. Further, to explore the lived experiences of Black females, the second paper investigates three high-ability Black females who have advanced degrees. In particular, this paper uses a developmental approach to talent development to explore the intrapersonal and environmental influences that each participant experienced during their K-12 schooling. Results indicate that several environmental influences such as access to advanced programs and activities and strong family and church support systems encourage academic growth. Additionally, these environmental influences combined with intrapersonal influences such as positive academic and racial identity, intrapersonal motivation, and an ability to self-advocate appear to promote Black girls’ academic talent development.



Black females. High-ability. Influences. Talent development. Case study.