Black American intergenerational perspectives on education, Black identity and Whiteness: A socio-cultural and historical analysis

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Gladys Jimenez Munoz

Second Advisor

James Carpenter

Third Advisor

Dina Maramba ; Leo Wilton


The aims of this study are to explore the socio-cultural contexts and experiences of Black Americans and their perspectives on the quality and value of education in their lives and to better understand how the socio-historical idea that Blacks are inferior has influenced the perception and disenfranchisement of Black youth in the U.S. educational system. This dissertation presents a qualitative study, incorporating historical documents and oral history interviews to collect first person accounts of the educational experiences of 53 Black people reflecting 4 different generations. The study found differences in the salience of race/racism in schools for individuals based on geographical location. In addition the study found a difference in the intergenerational value of education based on family heritage in the North vs. the South. Lastly the study shows the enduring legacy of eugenics through the continued experiences of the participants with racism. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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