In this essay, Roderick L. Carey draws from social-psychological perspectives on mattering to argue that Black boys and young men have yet to achieve comprehensive mattering in social and educational contexts. Positing that Black boys and young men find their social and school lives framed by marginal mattering, which is realized through social and educational practices that criminalize, dismiss, and propel them into school failure, and partial mattering, where only some of their skills and abilities are cultivated and heralded, Carey contends that due to neoliberal reforms and stakeholders' structural incapacities to imagine and do otherwise, educators fail to construct contexts in which Black boys and young men can robustly infer their comprehensive mattering. Thus, educators and researchers miss relational opportunities to support Black boys and young men in imagining alternative lives that compel their fullness of interests, latent talents, and subsequent worth.

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