Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

End of Year List of Noteworthy Stuff

December 31st, 2006 by Ajuan Mance

If I’m still blogging here a year from now, you can be sure I’ll have all manner of intriguing lists, summarizing the best and worst of Black people’s experiences on U.S. college campuses. For now, I have compiled a short list that captures the good, the bad, and the ugly in U.S. Black higher ed for 2006.

The Good
1. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that as of 2004, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 80% of African Americans 25 and over had completed high school, an increase of 10% since 2003. –Click here for the U.S. Census Bureau Press Release

2. Sasha-Mae Eccleston (Brown U, ’06) and Garrett W. Johnson (Florida State, ’05), the two most recent Black Americans to be elected Rhodes Scholars (elected for 2006).

3. Despite the demise of affirmative action in the UT system, the University of Texas reported record numbers of African American and Latino enrollees in the fall of 2006.

The Bad
4. Community colleges are failing in their function as a gateway to higher education. A recent article on InsideBayArea.com reported that, “[o]nly 3 percent of black students starting at a two-year college in 1995 went on to earn a bachelor’s degree by 2001, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.” –Read article at InsideBayArea.com

5. Fall 2006: Despite enrolling its largest freshman class ever, Indiana University saw a substantial drop in the number of incoming African American students (from 412 students to 345).

The Ugly
6. Technological innovations serve the interests of campus racists, too. Digital cameras, cellphones, computers, and community-based websites like Myspace, Facebook, and Livejournal facilitate the widespread distribution of what, at one time, might have been isolated racist acts. Whether dressing in blackface for a campus event (Whitman College), holding a so-called ghetto party (at the University of Chicago), or re-enacting an antebellum whipping while dressed in blackface (Texas A&M University), campus racists are using the new technologies to flaunt their deeply offensive behavior. –Read article at the USNews.com

Posted by Ajuan Mance

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