Strivers: African American males and the quest for American masculinity

Using qualitative data, this paper explores the dynamics of African American male strivers navigating through the pressures of socially constructed masculinity. Using the experiences of 8 African American male strivers who have lived within a poor co nun unity during the process of reaching manhood, this paper illustrates the limited opportunities for African American males who seek to define themselves as men. The strivers who participated shed light on a silent population of African American males who carry hidden aspirations while sometimes engaging in the illegal opportunities that poor corrununities often provide. Participants expressed awareness of their social locations while reaching a turning point towards other legal avenues of success.