College comes with growing pains of its own, but for black students attending predominately white universities, a different type of challenge exists, according to a recent study published in the National Communication Association’s journal Communication Education last week.
“[Black students] feel tension between integrating into the dominant culture while honoring their own culture and black pride,” study author Jake Simmons, assistant professor of communication studies at Angelo State University concluded.
Though their sample was small — just 67 students — Simmons and his team says that the consensus among the African Americans surveyed was that “they could not survive in the white world without altering their language or culture.”
“As a group, African-American students wanted to assimilate into their respective universities, but at the same time they expressed a need to maintain cultural independence by segregating from them,” the authors wrote. “The need to segregate was born out of a fear that the African-American culture would become less independent and more similar to the dominant culture.”