Race, Class and the Dilemmas of Upward Mobility for African Americans

We use the concept of intersectionality to explore the psychological meaning of
social class and upward mobility in the lives African Americans. Throughout,
we pay special attention to the context of education, a site which many Black
Americans feel represents their best hope for upward mobility. Literature related to three themes is reviewed and discussed: (a) the history and significance of class divisions within the Black community, (b) experiences of educational institutions as entryways to upward mobility, and (c) the hidden costs of mobility. It is suggested
that future research should address the intersection of gender with class and race, the relevance of class to racial identity, and the experience of downward mobility among Black Americans.

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