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HomeREVIEW PAPERSUnlocking the Potential of Black Youth: The Power of African-Centered Interventions in...

Unlocking the Potential of Black Youth: The Power of African-Centered Interventions in America

Empowering Black Youth: The Game-Changing Impact of African-Centered Interventions 🚀✨

A recent article by Lateef, H., Amoako, E. O., Nartey, P., Tan, J., & Joe, S. (2022) titled Black youth and African-centered interventions: A systematic review published in Research on Social Work Practice reveals that African-centered interventions (ACIs) may have beneficial effects for some Black youth over time, in relation to their educational attainment, mental health, and general behaviours in addition to self-esteem and ethnic identity

Being a systematic literature review, the article reviewed 10 studies that evaluated the effectiveness of ACIs for Black youth in the United States. ACIs are based on African and African diaspora cultural values and aim to promote positive outcomes for Black youth, such as academic achievement, self-esteem, ethnic identity, and health behaviours.

The authors conducted a comprehensive search of African-centered interventions (ACIs) using electronic bibliographic databases to identify studies completed in the United States and reported in peer-reviewed journals. A total of 10 studies were identified that met the full inclusion criteria of the review. The included studies had to be described as an outcome study, evaluation of a randomized control trial (RCT), or a behavioural health or psychosocial intervention; the intervention had to be described as an African-centered, Afrocentric, or similarly tailored intervention based on the principles of an African-derived cultural orientation for Black youth; and the study had to be published within a peer-reviewed journal. The authors assessed methodological rigor based on standards of assessing empirically validated interventions by the American Psychological Association (Chambless & Hollon, 1998; Gingerich & Eisengart, 2000; Kim, 2008)

The article reports that seven studies showed significant effects of ACIs on some outcome variables, while three studies showed nonsignificant or mixed results. The article discusses the key components and challenges of ACIs, such as the use of African-derived values, historical trauma-related aims, communal intervention methods, and self and communal empowerment curriculum.

Implications of the study

The study found that ACIs may have positive outcomes in academic achievement, self-concept, cultural identity, and behaviours, but also noted the heterogeneity in methodological rigor and the need for more research.

Some of the implications of the study are:

  • ACIs can be a culturally sensitive and relevant approach to address the needs and challenges of Black youth, especially in racialized societies where they may face discrimination, oppression, and trauma.
  • ACIs can promote a sense of belonging, empowerment, and resilience among Black youth by reconnecting them to their African heritage, values, and culture.
  • ACIs can foster positive youth development by enhancing social skills, self-esteem, ethnic identity, communalism, motivation, and social change involvement.
  • ACIs should be based on specific and nuanced African-centered frameworks that consider the diversity and intersectionality of Black youth identities and experiences.
  • ACIs should employ more rigorous methodology, such as randomized controlled trials, manualized curricula, and validated outcome measures, to establish their empirical evidence base and effectiveness.
  • ACIs should adapt to the changing needs and contexts of Black youth, such as incorporating web-based components and addressing the impact of social media on youth development.

In conclusion, the systematic review by Lateef et al. highlights the potential benefits of African-centered interventions (ACIs) for Black youth in the United States. The study reveals that ACIs can positively impact educational attainment, mental health, self-esteem, and ethnic identity, fostering resilience and empowerment. However, it also underscores the need for more rigorous research to establish a stronger empirical evidence base. The findings emphasize the significance of culturally sensitive approaches that acknowledge the diverse experiences of Black youth and adapt to changing contexts. By embracing their African heritage and values, ACIs can address the challenges faced by Black youth in racialized societies and promote positive youth development.

Question for Contribution and Comments

Dear reader, we value your input! Kindly share your thoughts, ideas, and comments regarding the question below in the comment section. Your valuable input will help shape our next article:

“How might the integration of African-centered interventions (ACIs) within educational institutions impact not only the academic achievements of Black youth, but also contribute to a broader societal shift towards greater inclusivity, cultural understanding, and social change?”

Cite this article as (APA format):

African Researchers Magazine (2023). Unlocking the Potential of Black Youth: The Power of African-Centered Interventions in America. Retrieved from


  1. I love this discussion! ACIs could lead to a paradigm shift where diversity is not just tolerated, but embraced and celebrated. When young minds are exposed to a wide range of perspectives and histories, it can spark critical thinking and a deep appreciation for cultural differences. This could pave the way for a brighter future.

  2. It’s fascinating to think about the long-term impact of ACIs. By valuing and integrating African culture within education, we’re sowing the seeds for a society that values diversity and equity. This could have a profound influence on policies, relationships, and even economic opportunities, creating a more harmonious and prosperous future.

  3. @Ifeoma, you’ve hit the nail on the head! ACIs could break the cycle of marginalization and empower Black youth to become changemakers. When our educational system acknowledges and uplifts African contributions, it’s not just about education anymore—it becomes a powerful tool for shaping a more just and inclusive world.

  4. This is such a thought-provoking question! Integrating African-centered interventions in educational institutions could truly be a game-changer. It’s not just about academic success, but about empowering our youth with a strong sense of identity and pride. ACIs could lead to a generation that’s not only academically accomplished, but also culturally aware and socially conscious.

  5. As an educator, I believe that African-centered interventions could revolutionize our approach to education. When students see their own history, culture, and experiences reflected in the curriculum, it fosters a sense of belonging and motivation. This could lead to a shift where inclusivity and cultural understanding become the norm, ultimately contributing to positive societal change.

  6. This question highlights the potential ripple effect of African-centered education. When Black youth are equipped with a strong cultural foundation, it can lead to more empathetic and open-minded individuals. As they enter various fields and professions, this could contribute to breaking down barriers and fostering a more inclusive and harmonious society.

  7. Absolutely, @Adebayo! ACIs could be a catalyst for dismantling harmful stereotypes and biases. Imagine the impact on self-esteem and mental well-being for Black youth when they’re celebrated for who they are. It’s high time our educational institutions embrace these interventions and help reshape our society for the better.


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