In this empirical study, the authors draw on classroom observations and interviews with twenty-three Black male ninth graders in an urban district to focus on the nature of disciplinary practices in an all-Black, all-male manhood development class. While scholars have identified the “discipline gap” as a salient aspect of the experience of Black male students in schools, few studies offer insight into the nature of disciplinary practices in spaces that Black male students view as supportive and positive. Existing studies also rarely capture African American male student perceptions of classroom and school discipline at the high school level. Utilizing Althusser (1971) and Leonardo (2005) to theorize about the racialized nature of discipline in schools, the authors find that a reframing of discipline within this alternative setting provides a counternarrative to how Black male students are typically perceived to respond to school discipline. The authors argue that, led by a “hero teacher,” the manhood development class functions as an example of “transformative resistance” (Giroux, 2001), changing how Black male students perceive themselves.

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