Black Colleges Across the Diaspora: Global Perspectives on Race and Stratification in Postsecondary Education: Volume 14

Cover of Black Colleges Across the Diaspora: Global Perspectives on Race and Stratification in Postsecondary Education
Subject:

Table of contents

(16 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xi
click here to view access options
Abstract

“Men make their own history,

but they do not make it just as they please;

they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves

but under circumstances directly encountered,

given and transmitted from the past.”

–Karl Marx

“Men make their own history,

but they do not make it just as they please;

they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves

but under circumstances directly encountered,

given and transmitted from the past.”

Over one dozen books have been written about historically black colleges and universities over the last 15 years. However, not one of the volumes published addresses this cohort of institutions from a global dimension. Each of the books ignores the reality that there are institutions of higher education populated by persons of African descent scattered around the globe. Equally, the emergent literature is silent on issues of racial stratification; consequently, treating black colleges as homogenous monoliths. This quiesance ignores the important tension of racial oppression/white supremacy, social stratification, and the persistent hegemony of power in societies with black populations. In this commencing chapter, there are two primary explorations: (1) the particularities of race and identity in black colleges in the United States, and (2) the nexus between race and culture in black colleges outside of the United States. In order to properly contextualize this diorama, it is imperative to examine the meaning of diaspora, the realities of racial stratification, and the ways in which hegemony can be unsettled and usurped.

U.S. Perspectives on Race and Identity in Black Colleges

Abstract

While many may assume that all students enrolled at historically Black campuses are African American, recent trends suggest these campuses are becoming increasingly diverse. In this chapter, we challenge common perceptions about historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), highlighting both what is known and yet to be known about enrollment trends and the experiences of students from diverse backgrounds at ­historically Black campuses. The chapter presents data from the National Center for Education Statistics, tracking changes in enrollments over time. These data are coupled with a review of research on the experiences of non-Black students at HBCUs, largely focusing on White students, but also integrating the narratives of a growing Latina/o/x student population. HBCUs can also be ethnically diverse, and we examine the heterogeneity within the Black student experience based on ethnic identity and immigrant status. We close with recommendations for research and practice, calling for increased attention to how non-Black populations experience, navigate, and engage HBCU campus communities to promote student outcomes and opportunities for learning across difference.

Abstract

Desegregation still remains a pressing issue of many of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the United States. This chapter provides a historical narrative of the history of desegregation in the United States, and how legal ruling impacts recruitment and retention of non-Black students at HBCUs. In addition, this chapter will examine landmark desegregation court cases and current challenges imposed upon historically black colleges. Finally, implications will be provided for administrators at public HBCUs.

Abstract

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Black Greek-lettered organizations (BGLOs) are institutions and organizations that provided African Americans with options for unification and education during years of overt racial discrimination when education and socioeconomic comforts were limited for the vast majority of Americans of African descent, and they continue to serve as support structures for African Americans today. Nevertheless, in the “postracial” era of accountability, questions surrounding the relevance of these organizations have become common discourse. While these organizations face similar narratives, HBCU and BGLO research, successes, and issues have not yet been analyzed, synthesized, or even acknowledged in significant ways. Thus, the purpose of this chapter is to promote the need for research and scholarship that explores and highlights the parallels and intersections of today’s HBCUs and BGLOs through a review literature on BGLOs and educational outcomes.

Abstract

Guided by the theoretical framework of human capital theory and using data from the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, this chapter investigated labor market outcomes for graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) compared to their non-HBCU counterparts. The results from this current study largely indicate that there are no significant disadvantages for Black graduate of HBCUs in terms of labor market outcomes. Moreover, under the premise of human capital theory, this study found that HBCUs serve as equivalent mechanisms for human capital attainment for Black students. This chapter concludes with limitations of the study as well as implications for future research.

Abstract

Many Black women continue to negotiate their way within higher education institutions, which are influenced by social class, race, and gender biases. Several scholars contend that Black women’s objectification as the “other” and “outsider within” (Collins, 2000; Fitzgerald, 2014; Jean-Marie, 2014) is still apparent in today’s institutions yet many persist to ascend to top leadership positions (Bates, 2007; Epps, 2008; Evans, 2007; Hamilton, 2004; Jean-Marie, 2006, 2008). In particular, the inroads made by Black women administrators in both predominantly white colleges (PWIs) as well as historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) depict a rich and enduring history of providing leadership to effect social change in the African American community (i.e., uplift the race) and at large (Bates, 2007; Dede & Poats, 2008; Evans, 2007; Hine, 1994; Miller & Vaughn, 1997). There is a growing body of literature exploring Black women’s leadership in higher education, and most research have focused on their experiences in predominantly white institutions (Bower & Wolverton, 2009; Dixon, 2005; Harris, Wright, & Msengi, 2011; Jordan, 1994; Rusher, 1996; Turner, 2008). A review of the literature points to the paucity of research on their experiences and issues of race and gender continue to have an effect on the advancement of Black women in the academy. In this chapter, we examine factors that create hindrance to the transformation of the composition, structure, and power of leadership paradigm with a particular focus on Black women administrators and those at the presidency at HBCUs. From a review of the literature, our synthesis is based on major themes and subthemes that emerged and guide our analysis in this chapter. The chapter concludes with recommendations for identifying and developing Black women leaders to diversify the leadership pipeline at HBCUs and other institutions for the future.

Abstract

Research pertaining to African-American women in academe is scant. Narrowing the focus to a specific segment of this population, such as those in the professoriate, is even more limited. Much of the available scholarship responding to the realities of African-American women’s work and lives in higher education revolves around the emotional, cultural, professional, and epistemic violence endured at the intersections of multiple systems of oppression, and the ways in which these women cope and resist. Less is known beyond these various coping strategies. Literature that responds to the complexities of Christianity and privilege, particularly in regards to directives for institutional diversity remains inconsistently addressed. The ways in which multiple forms of the Judeo-Christian faith influence experiences within differing higher educational settings is limited. Investigating the materiality that occurs in the interstices of these differing, yet interrelated, conversations has significant import for multiple dimensions of Black higher education. The present chapter questions the potential influence Judeo-Christian African-American women faculty have on diverse student engagement at historically Black colleges and universities.

Global Perspectives on Race and Culture in Black Colleges

Abstract

Since the latter half of the twenty-first century, African American college enrollment has shifted from historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) toward Predominantly White institutions (PWIs). Despite these trends, HBCUs continue to disproportionally award bachelor’s degrees to African Americans. Although researchers have explored the experiences of African American college students at HBCUs, less is known about the factors that contribute to their initial decision to attend. Focusing on the “twenty-first century college student,” the purpose of this study is to increase our understanding of these factors and the characteristics of students who choose HBCUs. Findings from interviews with 51 HBCU recent alumni from 20 institutions reveal three major influences on the decision to attend an HBCU: the desire to be in a predominantly Black environment; the reputation of academic programs; and cost/financial aid. This chapter highlights the strategies useful for HBCUs interested in attracting students from diverse backgrounds, illustrating that students choose HBCUs to be connected with the unique culture and traditional practices associated with HBCU campus environments. Understanding the college choice motivations of successful HBCU students can provide insights into how to foster institutional policies and practices to recruit and retain the twenty-first century student and beyond.

Abstract

Guided by the theoretical framework of human capital theory and using data from the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, this chapter investigated labor market outcomes for graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) compared to their non-HBCU counterparts. The results from this study largely indicate that there are no significant disadvantages for Black graduates of HBCUs in terms of labor market outcomes. Moreover, under the premise of human capital theory, this study found that HBCUs serve as equivalent mechanisms for human capital attainment for Black students. This chapter concludes with limitations of the study as well as implications for future research.

Abstract

This chapter explores how participating in campus leadership at HBCUs positively affects African American college student experiences. A review of existing research about the benefits of leadership involvement for African American students is followed by a discussion of student leadership at HBCUs. Next, motivations for being involved as leaders are discussed and described. The chapter concludes with recommendations for bolstering student motivations and involvement outcomes, as well as ways to increase African American student leadership at HBCUs. Specifically, this chapter is informed by empirical data gathered during in-depth focus groups with 13 African American student leaders (7 males, 6 women) who occupied leadership roles at their HBCU institutions. Two emergent themes are discussed: (1) playing the game, which spoke to the development of their leadership competencies; and (2) getting something out of it, which focused on building the leadership capital afforded to them as a result of their leadership. Recommendations for bolstering motivations and involvement outcomes for Black leader collegians are described in detail at the end of the chapter to provide insight about best practices of support for this student demographic.

Abstract

This chapter discusses the sociohistories that shape the current existential realities for HBCU education in the Caribbean, particularly the University of the Virgin Islands. The distinction, Anglophone Caribbean (also commonly referred to as the British West Indies), is a way of naming the intentional displacement and conquering of the indigenous people of the islands. Following a theorization of colonization, the chapter discusses the politics of higher education in the Anglophone Caribbean that influence the existence of the only HBCU outside the continental US, The University of the Virgin Islands. This context is essential to understanding the university’s founding and modern existence.

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors interrogate the structures, natures, processes, and variables that shape globalized collegiate desegregation. The authors pay attention to the history of segregation in South African culture, then proceed to current efforts to dismantle and rebuild the country’s educational enterprise. Drawing parallels with segregation policy in the United States, the authors argue that both nations may draw from global lessons about systemic global anti-Black oppression and its structural forms (e.g., apartheid, inequities in higher education). More specifically, the authors ground arguments in an analysis of the linguistic hegemony that continues to inculcate the college-aspiring students of South Africa. Understanding fundamental desegregation characteristics of racial hegemonic nations (e.g., United States) vis-à-vis racial and linguistic hegemonic nations (e.g., South Africa) is imperative to increase understanding of democratization of educational systems throughout the world.

Abstract

The concomitance of black-skinned student-populated colleges and universities on the African continent has created a quiescence regarding whiteness, racism, and disparity in African higher education. Resultantly, scant attention has been paid to the role and possibilities for Black populated colleges across the African continent to transform the political, social, and economic realities of African nation-states. In fact, the confluence of Western imperialism, slavery, genocide, and the contemporary frame of terrorism is highly correlated with the seeming permanence of war, oppression, and poverty across the African diaspora in general and on the African continent in specific.

About the Editor

Pages 289-291
click here to view access options

Index

Pages 293-302
click here to view access options
Cover of Black Colleges Across the Diaspora: Global Perspectives on Race and Stratification in Postsecondary Education
DOI
10.1108/S1479-358X201614
Publication date
2017-11-22
Book series
Advances in Education in Diverse Communities
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78635-522-5
eISBN
978-1-78635-521-8
Book series ISSN
1479-358X