Black Students at Integrated
Colleges: Problems and Prospects
Jewelle Taylor Gibbs
The most significant event in recent years that focused the attention of the educational establishment on the inequities of the educational process was the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the unintended consequences of this tragic event was the momentum gained by the nascent black-student movement, whose leaders seized upon King's martyrdom as a symbolic lever to press for admission of larger numbers of black students to higher education, a greater diversity of backgrounds and educational experiences among the recruited, increased financial aid, and improved educational services, cultural facilities, and counseling for black students accepted.
This chapter will examine some of the issues involved in the mutual adaptation of black students to predominantly white colleges and universities, the range of psychological and social problems experienced by these students, and the patterns of adaptation developed by the students in order to cope with their minority status.
The analysis of the issues, problems, and adaptive solutions developed by black students at integrated universities has developed as the result of my experience as a psychiatric social worker and counselor at two San Francisco Bay Area universities. The major substantive ideas delineated in this chapter have been