Moving on up: The urban to suburban translocation experiences of high-achieving Black American students

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​Education and Urban Society


Minority suburbanization has been a fast growing demographic shift in the United States during the first decade of the 21st century. This article examines the tapestry of the suburbanization experience of a group of high-achieving Black American students and their families as told by them. Departing from the all too common, deficit orientation toward Black American academic performance, we focus on how these families and students negotiate the challenges and opportunities in a highly competitive, liberal school district. Using socio-cognitive acculturation theory superimposed over an ecological framework as theoretical grounding, this study reveals how participants’ dual identity consciousness combined with a strong achievement orientation and adaptive strategies facilitated their acculturation to the suburban academic and post-school success despite challenges.