"Beyond the ""usual suspects"": Black youth perspectives on africentric schooling"
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Much has been said about the establishment and ongoing development of the Toronto District School Board's Africentric Alternative (Elementary) School in Toronto, which was intended to address the achievement gap for Black students and provide an alternative pedagogical approach. Currently on the horizon is the expansion of this initiative by the TDSB, through the implementation of a secondary school program tentatively called the Leonard Braithwaite Program, which will not operate as a stand alone school, but as an academic stream within an existing school on the East end of Toronto. Given, the heavy criticism from media, academics, parents and policy makers, it appears that adults are dominating the discourse about Africentric Schooling. Therefore, my masters' thesis aims to give voice to the very students that the Leonard Braithwaite Program aims to reach. Using a phenomenological qualitative approach and Critical Race Theory as a conceptual frame, my study queries how Black students between the ages of 16-20 from the Greater Toronto Area, come to understand Africentric Schooling as an academic option. The participants in this study divulge how their current and past racial, cultural and social climates coupled with their previous schooling experiences shape their thinking about Africentric Schooling. The participants also incite new ways of understanding how youth in the GT A are taking up this issue and what they feel is missing from the current discourse.