In this article, Kevin Cokley challenges conventional wisdom about African American college students and the factors underlying their academic underachievement. In this quantitative study of students attending three historically Black colleges and universities and one predominantly White university, Cokley reviews and integrates existing research on the academic motivation and academic self-concept of African American students. He then introduces self-determination theory as an additional motivational framework to understand African American students' motivation. While Cokley finds that African American students are intrinsically highly motivated, this motivation is not related to how they perform academically or to their academic self-concept.

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