Date of Award
College of Education
The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to provide understanding of the reason why African American students choose to enroll or do not enroll in Black Studies courses; and, (2) explore the relationship between racial identity development and Black Studies programs. Using a phenomenological approach, African American undergraduate students who have: (a) participated in a student organization that focuses on the advancement of Black people/African Americans, an organization that was founded with the purpose of creating an organization for Black Americans, or an organization that focuses on racial equality; or (b) be a Black Studies minor were interviewed. Findings suggest that students who choose Black Studies courses are a result of their desire to learn more about and reclaim their history. Those who did not take a Black Studies courses did not enroll because they were not interested in the topic or prioritized their required classes. Students who were Black Studies minors were more likely to feel a connection with the African diaspora while those who had not taken a Black Studies course were more likely to claim themselves as Black verses African American. Black Studies minors reported a better sense of self and reported a more positive development of their racial identity compared to many of the students who did not take a Black studies course.
Fuller, Ja'Kia M., "Racial Identity Development of African American Students in Relation to Black Studies Courses" (2016). Masters Theses. 810.