At a time when American society is desperately seeking to create hope for inner city black youth, this study serves as a tool to encourage those responsible for teaching and socializing young African-American males, who may feel they have little chance for success. The study involved 17 African-American male students at a historically black college in Miami, Florida. These students had great desire to achieve and did so despite daunting obstacles such as neighborhoods plagued with drugs, gangs, and crime. Interviewing students at the moment in their lives when they had successfully advanced beyond their environment, the author helps them to analyze their past in an honest manner.
The case studies of the individuals reveal that family is the most relevant factor in the student's success; particularly, the presence of one person who cares and encourages the young man is vital. In President Clinton's speech to the NAACP in July 1997, he remarked, I am tired of being told that children cannot succeed because of the difficulties of their circumstances. All we do is consign them to staying in the same circumstances. It is wrong. Through the stories of these students who have overcome their odds, this book can serve as an inspiration for younger African-American males to prevail over their own hardships.