African American children and adolescents face a number of challenges (e.g., racism, discrimination, lack of access to resources, community violence) that can impact their mental health. Yet, they possess and utilize many strengths in the face of challenge and adversity. This seminar will explore the most salient historical, social, cultural, and ecological factors that influence the mental health and resilience of African American youth, with attention to contextual determinants that shape mental health. Applying an ecological systems approach, the course will focus on how families, schools, and communities are integral to youth's adjustment and well-being. By utilizing a culturally specific and context based lens in analyzing empirical, narrative, and visual content, students will better understand factors that can promote or inhibit the mental health and resilience of African American children and adolescents across development.