Student Organizations as Venues for Black Identity Expression and Development Among African American Male Student Leaders

by Shaun R. Harper; Stephen John Quaye

Mar 1, 2007

The authors studied 32 high achieving black male students at six universities to explore ways in which involvement in student organization facilitated their development of positive black identities. They suggest that these results be considered in the conversation on improving college success among black males.
  • All participants reported feeling a commitment to uplifting the African-American community. They sought to either strengthen all-black organizations or increase black representation in mainstream student associations.
  • Participants cited cross-cultural communication as one of the most important skills acquired from student group involvement.
  • Many of the student leaders became more aware of oppression of other marginalized groups throughout college and took action for these causes as well.
  • Demonstrating comfort with their race and the ability to interact with other racial groups, as well as a commitment to social justice, the students exemplified the final stage of Cross's (19) model of black identity development.