The Development of Racial Understanding as Told by Black People in America
Russell, Maraki. “The Development of Racial Understanding as Told by Black People in America
”, Boston College, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109126.
This research project explores the narratives of how and when young Black people came to understand their race, as well as the implications of it. In order to expand upon the existing studies regarding racial realization and provide specific stories of such instances, qualitative interviews with nine Black people (ages 18-22) were conducted. The upbringings of these young Black people were analyzed in depth in order to provide insight to different types of racial socialization. It was found that both colorblind upbringings and non-colorblind upbringings that center individuals rather than systems of oppression are not helpful in the racial identity formation of young Black people. They both result in the perpetuation of the idea that racially marginalized people should modify their behavior. Additionally, this project exposes some of the reasons why racial realization is often a jarring experience for Black people in America, and in turn, expose some of the ways it can be less so.