In Their Words: Eleventh Grade Black Boy Voices Regarding Their Suspensions and Literacy



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Background: Black boys often lie at the center of academic discourse. Conversations about the school to prison pipeline and literacy often point to grim school and life outcomes of Black boys. Purpose: In an effort to understand Black boys’ perspectives on their suspensions and literacy one research question was posed: 1) How are the suspension experiences of teenage Black boys situated in a literacy context? Additionally, two sub questions were posed: 1a) What are their perceptions about school and suspensions? 1b) What are their perceptions about literacy (books/reading) Methods: The phenomenological study examined the lived experiences of three 11th grade Black boys. The researcher spent five weeks collecting observation data that eventually led to building trust with the participants. Interview data was collected and analyzed using transcendental phenomenology. Results: The study revealed the Black boys’ positive perceptions about reading. The boys also shed significant light on how their families responded to their suspensions. Finally, the boys revealed the deep connection between their teachers and their suspensions. Conclusion: The study contributed to the body of research surrounding the educational experiences of Black boys in that it created an environment for them to voice their lived experiences with literacy and school suspension.



Suspensions, Black boys, Literacy, School to prison pipeline