From antiblackness to cultural health in higher education

Tabitha Grier-Reed, Roun Said, Miguel Quiñones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Antiblackness has a long and storied history in higher education in the United States, and unfortunately, antiblack attitudes and practices continue in the 21st century. With implications for countering antiblackness in higher education and institutionalizing support for cultural health and wellness, we documented experiences of antiblackness in the African American Student Network (AFAM). AFAM was a weekly networking group, co-facilitated by Black faculty and graduate students, where Black undergraduates could come together and share their experiences. Participation in AFAM was associated with Black holistic wellness, and AFAM was a source of cultural health, where we conceptualized cultural health as having a sense of pride and resilience in one’s cultural background. We analyzed notes of 277 AFAM discussions from 2005–2006 to 2017–2018 using an adaptation of consensual qualitative research methods to identify four domains of antiblackness: racial trauma (n = 51), racial microaggressions (n = 34), racial rejection (n = 33), and systemic racism (n = 25). In moving from antiblackness to cultural health, we advocate for institutional resources in higher education, such as an institute for cultural health on campus, that values the cultures of Black students and students of color, and that focuses on building communities in which students can generate a wellspring of pride and resilience in their cultural backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEducation Sciences
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by NIFA Hatch Project No. MIN-52-097.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • African American Student Network (AFAM)
  • Antiblackness
  • Cultural health

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