Two African American Women Graduates of Historically White Boarding Schools and Their Social Integration at a Traditionally White University

By Alexander-Snow, Mia | The Journal of Negro Education, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Two African American Women Graduates of Historically White Boarding Schools and Their Social Integration at a Traditionally White University


Alexander-Snow, Mia, The Journal of Negro Education


This qualitative study explores the saliency of the relationship between White independent boarding schools and postsecondary opportunity for African American students. It specifically focuses on the question: Are Black graduates of elite, independent, historically White boarding schools academically and socially prepared for what they will encounter in traditionally White colleges and universities (TWCUs)? Utilizing multiple data-collection strategies (interview/observation, questionnaires, and journaling), the study explores the experiences of two African American female boarding school graduates and their academic and social transitions to college life at a TWCU in the urban South. The students' reflections illustrate how their boarding school background not only influenced their academic success in college but also affected their ability to integrate into the institution's social systems.

INTRODUCTION

As the 21st century unfolds, more and more parents in the United States are being confronted by the seeming inadequacies of the nation's public educational system. Reports suggest that it is becoming increasingly difficult for parents and educators to find common ground in their efforts to ensure that students are provided with safe learning environments that foster personal and educational growth (Giles,1995). Moreover, public schools across the nation continue to be plagued by wanton acts of violence, low student academic achievement, teacher apathy, administrative incompetence, and limited fiscal resources (Alexander-Snow, in press). Families, particularly African American families, who were once deeply committed to public education as a moral issue, are increasingly opting to send their children to independent day and boarding schools (Datnow & Cooper, in press).

African American parents often find themselves caught in the crossfire of intense political debate when it comes to choosing an elementary and secondary educational institution for their children, and those who opt to send their children to private institutions are no less embattled. On one hand, historically Black independent boarding schools have been touted for their culturally relevant teaching and for providing African American students with a culturally rich academic context that promotes the development of positive self-concept and group esteem (Asante, 1987; Lomotey, 1990). Yet, despite the purported success of these schools, the majority of African American children who attend private schools are enrolled in historically White independent boarding schools (tiles, 1995). Many Black parents compare the abundance of resources, the diverse academic programs, and impressive facilities of White private schools to the less expansive resources, programs, and facilities of Black private schools and conclude that the former are better equipped to prepare their children for collegiate success (Ladson-Billings, 1994). These parents ascribe to the conventional wisdom which suggests that because historically White independent boarding schools in the U.S. mirror the social and academic structures of the larger society and possess the advantages described above, graduates of these institutions will experience little or no difficulties adjusting to collegiate life.

Since the 1960s, African American families have increasingly viewed predominantly White, elite boarding schools as viable educational opportunities for African American youth (Foster & Foster, 1994). In general, these schools purport to offer rigorous college preparatory curricula that "emphasize social responsibility, actively promote a multicultural and multiracial environment, and strive to build a diverse and pluralistic student body" (Speede-Franklin, 1988, p. 22). Despite the vastly different social, cultural, and experiential backgrounds of many of these institutions' African American students compared to their European American classmates, elite boarding schools have achieved a measure of success in retaining and graduating Blacks (Slaughter,1974). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Two African American Women Graduates of Historically White Boarding Schools and Their Social Integration at a Traditionally White University
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.