Know Your Role: Black College Students, Racial Identity, and Performance

Mar. 01, 2015

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 28, Issue 2, 2015, p. 238-258

This paper reports on a critical constructivist study of racial identity and performance among 13 Black, traditional-age students enrolled at three different colleges, two historically Black and one predominantly White.
The study’s approach understood identity to be socially constructed and reliant upon community affirmation and validation.

The findings highlight
(1) the role of internal community pressure,
(2) the ways in which racial performance dominated the students’ discussions of their
racial identities, and
(3) the intersection of internalized racism and sexism.

The overarching conclusion points to the need for promoting acceptance of racial heterogeneity within communities of Black young adults.
Implications for research and practice recommend that college administrators and educators pay more attention to the influence of campus student communities on racial identity as by-products of cultural production.

Updated: Apr. 30, 2015