This study examined factors that impact African American students' participation in honors level courses and gifted programs. It also explored common trends that exist with students in honors level courses. From the findings, it is hoped that this study can contribute to an increase in the representation of African American students in gifted education and incite further discussion between school leaders and practitioners on ways to restructure the current configuration regarding equitable practices in approaching gifted minority students. The study was a mixed method study, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods to collect and examine the data. The primary research instruments were a teacher survey and a teacher interview guide. Both asked teachers to reflect on their experiences as teachers of gifted courses and their perceptions on the African American students' experiences. Historical data was also reviewed. The findings indicated that although gifted programs provide great opportunities for students, African American students are not experiencing the level of exposure and benefits when compared to their peers. White students in South Carolina were three times more likely to be enrolled in the gifted program than African American students. African American students also performed below White students in terms of SAT scores, providing further evidence of an achievement gap. The review of historical data, as reflected in honors level enrollment, SAT scores and scholarship trends, proved that much more could be done to recruit and retain minority students in higher level courses.