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Race and Racism in the Experiences of Black Male Resident Assistants at Predominantly White Universities
Journal of College Student Development (2011)
  • Shaun R. Harper, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Ryan J. Davis
  • David E. Jones, University of Massachusetts - Lowell
  • Brian L. McGowan, Indiana University
  • Ted N. Ingram
  • C. Spencer Platt, University of Texas at Austin

Recent research has shown a nexus between active out-of-class engagement and the accrual of unique race/gender-specific educational outcomes among Black male undergraduates. Yet, rarely explored are the racialized experiences of those who become actively engaged and assume leadership positions on campuses where racial diversity is low, hence the purpose of this study. Focus group interviews were conducted with 52 Black male Resident Assistants (RAs) at six large, predominantly White universities. Racist stereotypes and racial microaggressions, the complexities associated with “onlyness” in the RA position, and heightened scrutiny from White supervisors are among the findings reported in this article. Also offered are implications for addressing racial toxins that dissuade Black male student leadership in residence halls and other out-of-class engagement venues.

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Citation Information
Harper, S. R., Davis, R. J., Jones, D. E., McGowan, B. L., Ingram, T. N., & Platt, C. S. (2011). Race and racism in the experiences of Black male resident assistants at predominantly white universities. Journal of College Student Development, 52(2), 180-200.