Drawing on critical childhood studies, Michael J. Dumas and Joseph Derrick Nelson argue that Black boyhood is socially unimagined and unimaginable, largely due to the devalued position and limited consideration of Black girls and boys within the broader social conception of childhood. In addition, the “crisis” focus of the public discourse on Black males—focused as it is on adult Black men—makes it difficult to authentically see young Black boys as human beings in and of themselves. A critical reimagining of Black boyhood, the authors contend, demands that educators, policy makers, and community advocates pursue pedagogical and policy interventions that create spaces for Black boys to construct and experience robust childhoods. Further, a (re)commitment to critical research on Black boyhood should inspire inquiry that asks young Black boys who they are, what they think, and what they desire in their lives now.

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