Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Black college students at predominantly white campuses feel internal cultural tension
The Oklahoman ^ | 7/21/13 | Silas Allen

Posted on 07/21/2013 7:03:16 AM PDT by T-Bird45

NORMAN — When George Lee first came to the University of Oklahoma in 2009, he felt out of place.

Lee, who is black, grew up in a low-income, predominantly black neighborhood in Bryan, Texas, near College Station. But when he arrived at OU, he said, he felt pressure to change how he spoke and acted to integrate himself into the dominant culture.

He felt like he couldn't be the same person he'd been in his old neighborhood, he said. He felt like he was being asked to trade part of his “blackness” for the values and characteristics of the dominant white culture on campus.

“There had to be some type of a trade-off,” Lee said.

The idea of double consciousness — when a person's identity is divided between two cultures — isn't new. Sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois explored the idea in his 1903 book “The Souls of Black Folk.” But a new study suggests the conflict remains for many black college students today.

According to records from the National Center for Education Statistics, 64 percent of OU's undergraduates in the fall 2011 semester were white. Just 5 percent of undergraduates in 2011 were black.

At Oklahoma State University, 73 percent of undergraduates in 2011 were white, while only 5 percent were black.

According to a recent study published in the National Communication Association's journal, Communication Education, black students at predominantly white universities still often struggle to assimilate themselves into a culture they see as different from their own.

The study consisted of six focus groups spread out over three universities — a major Midwestern university in a small, rural community; a major Midwestern private university in a larger city; and a major Southwestern public university in a small metropolitan area. At each of the three schools, black students made up 8 percent or less of the overall student population.

According to the study, many of the students reported feeling an internal tension between remaining proud of their own culture and altering their own language or culture to adapt to the perceived “whiteness” of their universities.

That inner conflict continues when those students return home, according to the report. Of the 67 students involved in the focus groups, 52 were first-generation college students. Those students reported their families didn't have an understanding of the students' college experiences and the desire for a college degree.

One student reported feeling out of place during a summer family reunion, according to the report.

“I want to make it, have a job ... and they keep asking why I'm not married,” the student said. “I don't even bother explaining the idea that I am preparing myself for law school.”

Lee, an African American Studies major at OU, said he notices that difference when he returns to Texas and talks to family and neighbors in the neighborhood where he grew up. Family and friends treat him with greater privilege, he said. He's also more aware of the poverty and drug use in the neighborhood than he was while he was growing up, he said.

One of the study's authors said colleges and universities need to do a better job of engaging black college students and their communities.

Jake Simmons, a professor at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, said schools could help alleviate that tension by implementing programs that reach out not only to students, but also to their families and home communities to let them know what's happening on campus.

Simmons said universities could also develop multicultural programs that do a better job of representing the entirety of students' home cultures, rather than simply holding a stereotypical celebration for major holidays.

Spencer Davis, an OU student from Tulsa, said he's felt the conflict between his own heritage and the surrounding culture since before he came to OU. Davis, who is black, attended Jenks High School, which is predominantly white.

Davis, 19, is a second-generation college student — his father graduated from OU and his mother has a degree from the University of Tulsa.

When Davis was in high school, it was obvious that he was in the minority, he said. He felt the internal conflict between his heritage and his surroundings then, he said, but he adopted the speech patterns and culture of the people around him.

After a while, Davis realized he wasn't totally comfortable speaking with other black people, he said. When he came to OU, his social network broadened to include friends from several races. But he still feels like he belongs to multiple groups, leaving him to figure out where he fits.

“It hasn't really impeded me,” he said. “I've definitely managed to navigate it now.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Oklahoma
KEYWORDS: aastudies; blackkk; cognitivedissonance; ghettohood; ncaa; quotasystem; racenorming
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-162 next last
There is so much wrong here that I don't know where to start and my wife just got up so I have to go make pancakes now.
1 posted on 07/21/2013 7:03:16 AM PDT by T-Bird45
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

What they are experiencing is Racism being exorcized from their souls.


2 posted on 07/21/2013 7:05:48 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

Simmons said universities could also develop multicultural programs that do a better job of representing the entirety of students’ home cultures, rather than simply holding a stereotypical celebration for major holidays.

Why would that matter? Aren’t we all the same?


3 posted on 07/21/2013 7:06:14 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

There is a reason why the locals call this paper The Daily Joke-lahoman.


4 posted on 07/21/2013 7:06:38 AM PDT by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

If speaking normal English, walking like a normal human being, studying and dressing normal is White....well...


5 posted on 07/21/2013 7:06:39 AM PDT by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

Who pays to study this kind of nonsense?


6 posted on 07/21/2013 7:06:41 AM PDT by wny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

What kind of retarded culture is this much against education? I’m guessing the same one which demands that an illiterate person with 10 illegitimate children should have the same working wage as someone who tried to learn and be productive.


7 posted on 07/21/2013 7:07:37 AM PDT by Wanderer99
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
He felt like he couldn't be the same person he'd been in his old neighborhood, he said.

What an idiot.

This is the same thing that farm boys and small town kids and mountain kids and big city kids ALL feel. It's called socialization...i.e. learning how to move about in societies which are different than the one you grew up in.

8 posted on 07/21/2013 7:08:24 AM PDT by RoosterRedux (You can't eat Sharia)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wny
Who pays to study this kind of nonsense?

probably YOU through taxes to grants...

9 posted on 07/21/2013 7:08:39 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

Average football team and a sub-average newspaper.


10 posted on 07/21/2013 7:10:07 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
Simmons said universities could also develop multicultural programs that do a better job of representing the entirety of students' home cultures, rather than simply holding a stereotypical celebration for major holidays.

Because universities need YET ANOTHER multicultural PC program.

Meanwhile, the engineering, science, and medical programs are barely getting funded.
11 posted on 07/21/2013 7:11:00 AM PDT by Wanderer99
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

send them all to the schools that Colonel West, Dr. Benjamin Carson, or Herman Cain went to....then they can learn to live like an American.


12 posted on 07/21/2013 7:11:32 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux
What an idiot. This is the same thing that farm boys and small town kids and mountain kids and big city kids ALL feel. It's called socialization...i.e. learning how to move about in societies which are different than the one you grew up in.

Except that his society prides itself on being idiotic.
13 posted on 07/21/2013 7:11:59 AM PDT by Wanderer99
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

I was a white student at Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH) briefly in the mid 1990s. I certainly felt some cultural tension, especially when I took one of the mandatory “Black Studies” classes. It was hard to stomach the lies and half-truths that were laid upon my ears.

I was old enough to see through the BS, but most of the students in that class were too young to have lived through all the events that were mentioned. As such, they were being brainwashed into believing things that simply were not true.

If you listened to the professors in that (and other) class, you would believe that all the hard-working white folks were the root of all evil that every existed in Cleveland.


14 posted on 07/21/2013 7:12:20 AM PDT by meyer (What would John Hancock do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

I’d be willing to be the ‘uneasiness’ and ‘being out of place’ feelings they are having are the result of not being in an HBCU or MI or some Northeastern Liberal Cesspool Collage [I spelled it like that on purpose] where their grades and performance don’t matter and “being black is passing.”


15 posted on 07/21/2013 7:13:24 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

I made french toast.

By definition Groupthink requires mindguards to protect the shared thought of the group.

On display is the protection of the manufactured thought it is a racist America. Without that thought, Democrats lose a significant portion of their voter base.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were ordered to feign indignation and stage protests to keep the group members from questioning their assertions.

Al and Jesse are spending credibility with 30% of the group to save 70%. Whites and hispanics see through the whole thing.

Black students are being scrutinized for their position. Either they are thinking open minded individuals in the 30% or racist liars backing injustice in the 70%. Those in the %70 pretending they are in the %30 are the really conflicted ones and the ones that will project racism to cover their own racist tracks.


16 posted on 07/21/2013 7:14:13 AM PDT by Eddie01 (Liberals lie about everything all the time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
Garrard McClendon on Black English - Ebonics
17 posted on 07/21/2013 7:14:31 AM PDT by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
"he felt pressure to change how he spoke and acted"

well, duh, wasn't that the original intent of higher education?

18 posted on 07/21/2013 7:14:56 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (sue the DNC for the IRS abuse! Can RICO laws be used against the DNC?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vaquero

These contemporary race baiters are honestly crapping on the legacy of the original civil rights pioneers who fought to gain admittance to institutes of higher learning in the first place.


19 posted on 07/21/2013 7:15:07 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
But when he arrived at OU, he said, he felt pressure to change how he spoke and acted to integrate himself into the dominant culture.

when i was in college i felt pressured to smoke pot when i was at party's and joints would be handed to me...fortunately i had the wherewithal to realize that wasn't me so guess what?? i didn't smoke pot...
20 posted on 07/21/2013 7:15:14 AM PDT by God luvs America (63.5 million pay no income tax and vote for DemoKrats...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: meyer

I took a philosophy class once, only once. The instructor got to talking about religion and referred to Jesus Christ as some sort of normal human prophet. I dropped the class.

There are either two options if you discuss this in philosophy. The man claiming to be the Son of God was either a fullblown nutcase or he actually was/is the Son of God. There is no in between, no middle ground. What that had to teach me was useless.


21 posted on 07/21/2013 7:17:23 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

Maybe they should try American culture on for size and drop their separatist attitudes.


22 posted on 07/21/2013 7:18:31 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
"It hasn't really impeded me,” he said. “I've definitely managed to navigate it now.”....I'm amazed at the mountains made from molehills our 'intellectuals' create. A friend joined the military some years ago and was struck at the taunts he received because of his deep south accent by those people from the northeast. He dropped his accent and didn't tell anyone where he was from as so to fit in. When he returned home from leave after 12 months away he was surprised at how much he had changed and how much every one at home was the same....This isn't trauma... its called growing up...
23 posted on 07/21/2013 7:18:58 AM PDT by virgil283 ( ... """" Will ye no come back again;."''''''')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

any college student from a family without college grads goes through the same thing. There are many similar stories from Appalachia, people that go back and never mention that they are just back from China or India, so these poor boo hoo black people that are realizing their culture is keeping them down better figure out how to deal. Many people speak one language at home and a different language at work, it is not that uncommon


24 posted on 07/21/2013 7:19:36 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wny; SpinnerWebb
Who pays to study this kind of nonsense?

You do .. all the "producers" do. Our tax dollars fund the loan subsidies and grants that Fedzilla doles out to those it deems worthy. Folks like George Lee in the article ... who is setting himself up for a future of asking would you like fries with that by being a "African Studies major" on our dime.

Next question ..

25 posted on 07/21/2013 7:19:47 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Liberalism is only possible in that moment when a man chooses Barabas over Christ.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
Black college students at predominantly white campuses feel internal cultural tension

What, they feel themselves "turning white" by simply getting an education and participating in the economy?

Geeeeeez...

26 posted on 07/21/2013 7:19:58 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (HEY RATS! Control your murdering freaks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

The problem is a black culture which disdains education. So when black people get educated, the blacks no longer fully accept them, and neither do the whites in a meaningful way.

Makes for a lonely life.

In fact, this principle is true for poor people of any race.


27 posted on 07/21/2013 7:20:25 AM PDT by stinkerpot65 (Global warming is a Marxist lie.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

yep, that happened with me, and I am a better person and my family is better off because of it. It doesn’t mean I don’t love farming and country life. Hopefully, it does mean that I won’t ever have my picture show up in “the people of Wal*Mart” or a Honey boo boo type reality show.


28 posted on 07/21/2013 7:20:43 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (sue the DNC for the IRS abuse! Can RICO laws be used against the DNC?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

Likewise, white college students at predominantly Black campuses probably feel internal cultural tension too.

How is this news? This article might as well have been written in 1965.

People have different heights, weights, hair colors, eye colors, voices, nose sizes, etc. Get over it !


29 posted on 07/21/2013 7:20:56 AM PDT by repentant_pundit (Sammy's your uncle, but he behaves like a spoiled rotten kid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

Drop their separatist attitudes and pull up their pants.


30 posted on 07/21/2013 7:21:09 AM PDT by GunsareOK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: stinkerpot65

Unfortunately, that view turns a lot of the educated blacks into angry, bitter and more racist/bigoted people. Fortunately, there are some that stand up for what is right. People like Allen West.


31 posted on 07/21/2013 7:23:14 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (sue the DNC for the IRS abuse! Can RICO laws be used against the DNC?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Joe 6-pack
These contemporary race baiters are honestly crapping on the legacy of the original civil rights pioneers who fought to gain admittance to institutes of higher learning in the first place.

Well said. OU did not become "integrated" until 1948 with the admission of a black woman to the law school. It was still some years before a black undergrad would be admitted. Oklahoma still has a HBCU, Langston University.

32 posted on 07/21/2013 7:23:20 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ImJustAnotherOkie

No ebonics,no standing around with the bros sounding like somebody auctioning off a MF’er,must be tough....


33 posted on 07/21/2013 7:24:51 AM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

Where is that tiny violin?


34 posted on 07/21/2013 7:25:15 AM PDT by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
There is so much wrong here that I don't know where to start and my wife just got up so I have to go make pancakes now.

Don't bother (with starting...not the pancakes)

I'll summarize it in 2 words.... 'he felt'.

People with this worldview suffer from their own, low self-esteem, and trying to make everyone else responsible because they 'feel' a certain way is just how they deflect the blame.

35 posted on 07/21/2013 7:25:34 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as defined by the Law of Nature, not a 'person' as defined by the laws of Man)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: T-Bird45

There are a lot of old jokes about people worrying what others think of the way they are dressed when in fact hardly anyone is concerned with what others look like - they are all actually concentrating on their own appearance.

Advice to blacks -

Most whites today don’t care what color you are - race is way down on their list of what is important. Blacks are more race conscious than whites.

Serious people, white or black, concentrate on their own studies and getting the most they can from their own college years.

Just forget about race, concentrate on your studies and advancing your own life and you won’t end up a whining racist crybaby or a racist witch who blames all of their failures on whites - like Barack and Michelle Obama.


37 posted on 07/21/2013 7:26:31 AM PDT by Iron Munro (They Old. That's Old School People. We In A New School, Our Generation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
“I want to make it, have a job ... and they keep asking why I'm not married,” the student said. “I don't even bother explaining the idea that I am preparing myself for law school.”

Lee, an African American Studies major at OU, said he notices that difference when he returns to Texas and talks to family and neighbors in the neighborhood where he grew up. Family and friends treat him with greater privilege, he said. He's also more aware of the poverty and drug use in the neighborhood than he was while he was growing up, he said.

And this is negative? Sounds like exactly what Rev. MLK was striving to achieve. Black students who step away from the racial stereotypes and are successful in their studies and careers are threats to the liberal status quo that maintains that blacks are unable to be successful because of racism.

38 posted on 07/21/2013 7:26:49 AM PDT by randita
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GunsareOK
George Washington Carver was actually born into slavery but didn't grow up wanting to be different from white Americans. He and his contemporaries wanted to be included in American culture. They were unhyphenated Americans and behaved as such.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
39 posted on 07/21/2013 7:26:53 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
When Davis was in high school, it was obvious that he was in the minority, he said. He felt the internal conflict between his heritage and his surroundings then, he said, but he adopted the speech patterns and culture of the people around him.

I experienced the same sort of conflict when I went to college, where my fellow students made regular use of profanity, smoked marijuana, drank booze, listened to contemporary rock music and protested the Vietnam War.

40 posted on 07/21/2013 7:27:29 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
"Lee, an African American Studies major at OU,..."

There's the problem right there. He's not tackling a serious subject that takes serious work and time. He spends his time racially navel-gazing and that's making him crazy.

Step 1 in the Racially Obsessed Anonymous program is to drop African American Studies and take up something serious, chemistry, foreign languages, mathematics, engineering or some other tough subject. Step 2: Stop focusing on yourself. Step 3: Start preparing yourself for the future and a real job, where you have to work.

41 posted on 07/21/2013 7:27:32 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (The Stupid Party, they've earned it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

If George Lee doesn’t want to change why is he attempting to gain higher education? I think you go to school to change yourself in many ways. If all he wants is to be ‘Black’ then he achieved that when he was born.


42 posted on 07/21/2013 7:28:14 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again,")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
Just forget about race, concentrate on your studies and advancing your own life and you won’t end up a whining racist crybaby or a racist witch who blames all of their failures on whites - like Barack and Michelle Obama.

This irony continually surprises me. Some of the most successful blacks are the biggest whiners. Rather than proclaim, "I did it, so can you, and here's how", they whine about how black people never get a fair shake and are profiled and discriminated against at every turn. They're walking dichotomies.

43 posted on 07/21/2013 7:29:10 AM PDT by randita
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
Gee, I went to a mostly black high school. As a non black this crazy ass cracka felt more than a little racial tension. More than a few fists too.

What a serious bunch of can't take what they dish out whiners. Reminds me of Palistinians who will only finally feel at peace when those mean old jews are all dead and their childrens throats cut. And all the other Shiites and Sunni infidels and French and Americans and...


44 posted on 07/21/2013 7:29:56 AM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

So, he was an “African-American Studies major”? Just what kind of job does that prepare him for? Some sort of affirmative action political position?

Of course, the university is as much to blame as he is for even offering such a major. What worse could they do for their back students than that, although the pretense is the opposite, that they are being very respectful of them and their black culture.


45 posted on 07/21/2013 7:31:50 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
Being among all those creepy a$$ crakers probably gave him PTSD.I see a $2,000/month SSDI check....and a $2 million jury award from the State of Oklahoma...in his immediate future.
46 posted on 07/21/2013 7:32:35 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (If Obama Had A City It Would Look Like Detroit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MamaTexan

The pancake batter was already made and the griddle was hot so it didn’t take long...LOL. As you can see, I’ve made one further comment up the thread but the irritation I feel as an Oklahoma taxpayer about such nonsense is beyond civil words. It is further irritating that OU went to TX to find this specimen and expend my taxes in an obviously futile effort to raise him from his circumstances. He seems determined to “keep it real.”


47 posted on 07/21/2013 7:35:00 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45
Ghetto withdrawal
48 posted on 07/21/2013 7:35:04 AM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FreeAtlanta

Same here. I grew up in a small rural town in South Georgia. Went to UGA and spent the better part of my career in NYC.


49 posted on 07/21/2013 7:36:05 AM PDT by RoosterRedux (You can't eat Sharia)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: T-Bird45

What a fascinating article.


50 posted on 07/21/2013 7:36:46 AM PDT by Truth2012
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-162 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson