72 5 ME S S AG E R E C E I V E D Parental Encouragement and Its Effect on the College-Choice Process Michael J. Smith W hen it comes to education, it has always been the case that low-socioeconomic status (SES) youth have been marginal- ized, but today that marginalization is coupled with a climate that in many circles is decidedly anti-immigrant, anti-Latinx and anti-Black (Smith, 2001). With the election of Donald Trump in 2016 the national mood regarding higher education characterizes the entire enterprise as part of the “liberal elites” (Tomasky, 2017). Indeed, conservative politicians and pundits across the board have whipped up sentiments that link diversity to affirmative action and both to alleged reverse discrimination against White and in some cases Asian American college applicants (Levitz, 2018). Given these recent developments and the pervasive “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) or the “America First” climate that is linked to anti- minority sentiments, it is even more important that researchers and prac- titioners alike find ways to more aggressively nurture and recruit talented, promising African American first-generation college students. It is even more important to find ways to support those students who were raised in the low- income, single-parent homes that are so frequently a part of today’s African American communities. In earlier work I advocated for encouraging parental involvement as a way to fight against the aforementioned marginalization (Smith, 2008, 2009). If the higher education community could find ways to support the parents of low- income African American high school students, it is quite possible to increase their children’s participation in college and fight against today’s toxic national anti–African American climate. Understanding the experiences of low SES