ERIC Number: ED335428
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-7
Black Women in White Institutions: A Study of Ten Narratives.
Ihle, Elizabeth L.
This paper is based on 10 firsthand accounts of black women who graduated from historically white institutions. Four of the narratives came from autobiographies, those of educators Fanny Jackson and Lena Beatrice Morton, social activist Mary Church Terrell, and political activist and author Angela Davis. Three of the other accounts were taken from memoirs written for institutional histories, two were elicited by the author, and one appeared in a journal. The narratives vary in the following ways: (1) they span over a century, from the 1860s to the 1970s; (2) one was written while the author was still in college, the others at least a decade after graduating; (3) all but three women came from lower-middle-class to middle-class families; and (4) the nine institutions represented cover a wide range of geographical areas. Despite the differences in the narratives, common themes recur: (1) the importance of economic considerations in choosing a school, including availability of good scholarships and proximity to home; (2) the importance of color, much more than gender, in shaping these women's college experiences; (3) the initial hostility or skepticism from professors and the need to prove themselves academically; (4) the importance of social support systems such as sororities in determining their satisfaction with their college experience; and (5) participation of some of the women in protests against social injustice. Eleven references are included. (CJS)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 7, 1991).