RACE-BASED EXPERIENCES OF BLACK COLLEGE STUDENTS ATTENDING PREDOMINATELY WHITE INSTITUTIONS
Simple, Santana Reachal
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The purpose of this study was to describe the raced-based experiences of Black students attending a predominately White institution. Data were collected through multiple sources, including informed consent, demographic surveys, and semi-structured interviews. The data collected in this study were analyzed using Moustakas’s (1994) Modification of the Van Kaam (1959, 1966) method for analyzing phenomenological data. The Modified Van Kaam method consists of seven steps for examining the completed transcription of the participant’s responses. A transcendental phenomenological approach was used in my study to explore the essence of the participants’ experiences that emerged from the audio-recorded semi-structured interview. Nine themes emerged from the data and identified the lived experiences of participants. The essence of the participant’s experiences in this study demonstrated a variety of ways Black college students were aware of their race prior to coming to college, and how each participant’s awareness of their race impacted their overall campus experience. Additionally, whether through first-hand experience, social media, or the vicarious experience of another Black student, race-based interactions were significant in altering how engaged and how safe Black college students felt while they were attending predominately White institutions. The results of this study indicated that the overall developmental process for Black college students is independent from the majority culture and must be further explored and supported. Specifically, future research should explore impact racial microaggressions have on Black students psychologically, and behaviorally on college campuses and within their campus community.