Date of Award

Spring 1992

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1992 Robert L. Henderson. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Black Studies, Sociology & Anthropology

First Advisor

Steven Piker

Second Advisor

Hilliard Pouncy

Third Advisor

Asmarom Legesse


Imagine having to live in a dual society where totally different rules apply in each society. Imagine that not adhering to one set of rules yields a violent consequence, maybe death, while not adhering in the other society yields permanent residence in the first society. These are not fictitious creations of the imagination; rather, they are realities faced by many African-American youths growing up in the inner cities. The acceptance of this violence, the different rules and connections needed to survive, and the racism have been accepted by the author, who experienced such hardships first-hand. This thesis addresses these problems: a culture of violence, access to upward mobility, and various forms of racism and oppression innate in mainstream societal practices. Methodology includes interviews.