Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2000 Kimberly N. Foote. 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 Program, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Sarah Willie-LeBreton


Black college students in the mid-late 1960s at predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) began to politically organize themselves into groups and make demands upon college administrations for equality in their educational experience. They usually protested for increased black student enrollment increased black faculty, and the initiation of a Black or Africana Studies program. Some black students at PWIs also demanded the incorporation of a black culture center (BCC), a space for black students to gather and share in their distinct culture experience.¹ In a way, BCCs could be seen as having a Black Studies initiative because one of the BCC's purposes was also to offer cultural education about the African-American experience. BCCs and Black Studies programs have other commonalties as well. Robert L Harris, Jr., who documents the development of Africana Studies in "The Intellectual and Institutional Development of Africana Studies" (1990) found that Africana Studies has gone through several stages. After being born in the black student protest movement, Africana Studies faced legitimization and institutionalization and now faces the opportunity for development and expansion. Over time, the BCC has evolved similarly. Darlene Clark Hine, in "Black Studies: An Overview" (1990) also noticed that much diversity exists amongst today's Black Studies programs because they began with little organization and as a response to a tumultuous political climate. The same can be said for the BCC. Methodology includes a literature review.


Black College Experience, Black Cultural Center, PWI, HBCU, Black Student Activism