Microaggressions

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Bourke (2010) mentions that Black students face many stereotypes based on myths that are held by White students. These stereotypes often lead to microaggressions. Participants in this study discussed situations where they were faced with racial slurs, followed around campus because of assumed threat, left out of important events or just misunderstood due to differences in cultural expression. These feelings often created an environment where Black students were reluctant to interact with White students. These microaggressions caused a level of stress that other students often do not understand. Caplan and Ford (2014) states that migroaggressions lead to feelings of insecurity, frustration, isolation, and powerlessness, which is consistent…show more content…
Black students also want to see an increase in the population of Black students at PWIs. To compensate for the lack of cultural traditions and events on campus, Black students join cultural organizations and historically Black fraternities and sororities. The extant literature confirms the findings from this study. Living arrangements for Black students can be more uncomfortable than their classroom or general campus experiences. Harwood, Huntt, Mendenhall, and Lewis (2012) analyzed racial microaggressions in residence halls at PWIs and their impact on undergraduate and graduate students of color and identified four microaggressions that Black students were faced with including: (1) racial jokes and verbal comments, (2) racial slurs written in shared spaces, (3) segregated spaces ad unequal treatment and (4) denial and minimization of racism. Lum (2008) states that ethnic theme housing options provide a safe space for students of color at PWIs to discuss issues of race among other topics. Even Black students who do not live in ethnic theme housing choose to spend time there for the same reasons. In addition to ethnic theme housing, Black students also join cultural groups to help cope with an uncomfortable environment as discussed…show more content…
The focus of these organizations or groups can range from political, cultural, spiritual, fraternal, or career-based. Sutton and Kimbrough (2001) posits that there are many reasons why Black students join multicultural organizations: 1) to affirm their presence on campus, 2) to engage in out-of-class experiences, 3) to acknowledge a commitment to serve disenfranchised members of the community, 4) to foster a sense of "mattering", and 5) to provide opportunities to share their skills and talents with the Black community (p.

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