By Sarah Susannah Willie
Sarah Willie asks: what is it prefer to be black on campus. for many Black scholars, attending predominantly white universities, it's a fight. Do you are attempting to combination in? Do you're taking a stand? Do you find yourself performing because the token consultant on your complete race? And what approximately these scholars who attend predominantly black universities? How do their reviews differ?In performing Black, Sarah Willie interviews fifty five African American alumnae of 2 universities, related other than that one is predominantly white, Northwestern, and one is predominantly black, Howard. What she discovers via their tales, reflected in her personal collage event , is that the varsity campus is every so often the level for a fair extra extreme model of the racial matters performed out past its partitions. The interviewees discuss "acting white" in a few occasions and "acting black" in others. They deal with race as many alternative issues, together with a suite of behaviours that they could decide to act out.In performing Black, Willie situates the non-public tales of her personal adventure and people of her interviewees inside of a timeline of black schooling in the United States and a overview of collage coverage, with feedback for development for either black and white universities looking to make their campuses really multicultural. within the culture of The soreness of schooling (Routledge, 1996) , Willie captures the painful dilemmas and unpleasant realities African american citizens needs to face on campus.
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Additional resources for Acting Black: College, Identity, and the Performance of Race
Like Willie and McCord, William Exum also searched for explanations in this passionate era a bit further downstate. In his study Paradoxes of Protest: Black Student Activism in a White University (1985), Exum examined the black student movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s at New York University. Studying it as an empirical example of social movement theory, Exum distinguished between value-oriented movements—those that seek to change fundamental values in an organization—and norm-oriented movements—those that adhere to organizational values.
An atmosphere of both high academic expectation and encouragement permeated the campus. I soon learned, though, that it was hardly a utopia. It seemed contradictory to me that many traditions—from the tolerance of sorority hazing, deference to very traditional gender norms, and bigoted attitudes about lesbians—went largely unchallenged and unquestioned at a woman’s college. Similar to my experience at Haverford, I began to see disjuncture between how Spelman described its mission and what actually occurred on campus.
Like the two world wars that followed it, the exigencies of the American Civil War “propelled women into new roles and showed that they were capable of work previously reserved for men” (Williamson and Wild 1976:23). Besides the catalyst of war, the wives of Northwestern trustees also played a role in the change of college policy. These women persuaded the village of Evanston to set aside land for a women’s college—the Evanston College for Ladies—next to the plot that their husbands had secured, and the women acquired a state charter for their school (Williamson and Wild 1976:24).
Acting Black: College, Identity, and the Performance of Race by Sarah Susannah Willie