Teaching Black Immigrant Students in Urban Schools: Teacher and Peer Relationships and Academic Performances

Document Type


Publication Date



Cultural knowledge, Diversity, Black immigrant students, Culturally responsive teaching, Cultural experiences

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



This study examines teachers’ cultural awareness of Black immigrants and the pedagogical strategies they implemented that aided in the academic success of Black immigrant youth attending public urban schools. A related goal was to examine Black immigrant youths’ relationships with teachers and peers, the challenges they faced in navigating a new educational system, and how it influenced their academic performance. Drawing on culturally responsive teaching, we examined teachers’ cultural knowledge and understanding of the life experiences of Black immigrant students. Participants were 25 teachers and 20 Black immigrant youth. Qualitative research, including semi-structured and focus group interviews were used to collect data. Three major themes emerged from the study. These include (a) Black immigrant youth perspectives and experiences attending United States public urban schools comprising the following subthemes: (1) challenges attending urban schools, (2) students’ resilience to achieve success in school, (3) supportive parents and high expectations; and (4) navigating through school with bi-cultural identity. The second theme is (b) the multiple cultures Black immigrant youth bring to the urban classroom, and the third theme, (c) strategies of teaching Black immigrant youth in public urban schools. Findings demonstrate the need for teachers to understand the rich cultural diversity that Black immigrant students bring to the classroom to be able to connect with their life experiences inside and outside of school.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Urban Review, in press