Being Bad will change the way you think about the social and academic worlds of Black boys. In a poignant and harrowing journey from systems of education to systems of criminal justice, the author follows her brother, Chris, who has been designated a "bad kid" by his school, a "person of interest" by the police, and a "gangster" by society. Readers first meet Chris in a Chicago jail, where he is being held in connection with a string of street robberies. We then learn about Chris through insiders' accounts that stretch across time to reveal key events proceeding this tragic moment. Together these stories explore such timely issues as the under-education of Black males, the place and importance of scapegoats in our culture, the on-the-ground reality of zero tolerance, the role of mainstream media in constructing Black masculinity, and the critical relationships between schools and prisons.
No other book combines rigorous research, personal narrative, and compelling storytelling to examine the educational experiences of young Black males.
The book features; the natural history of an African American teenager navigating a labyrinth of social worlds; a detailed, concrete example of the school-to-prison pipeline phenomenon; rare insights of an African American family making sense of, and healing from school wounds; and suggested resources of reliable places where educators can learn and do more.