Consequences of conservatism: Black male undergraduates and the politics of historically Black colleges and universities
Previous research has highlighted numerous ways in which historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) offer more supportive educational environments for Black students than do predominantly White institutions (PWIs). Notwithstanding the consistency of these findings, persistence and graduation rates remain low for undergraduates, especially men, at HBCUs. Furthermore, anecdotal reports and news stories have called attention to the conservative politics of many Black colleges. This study explores how Black male students characterize, respond to, and make sense of environmental politics at 12 HBCUs that participated in the National Black Male College Achievement Study. In addition to 2-3 hour face-to-face individual interviews with 76 undergraduates, documents from 103 HBCUs were analyzed to gather additional insights into the political press of these institutions. Conservatism was evident in the areas of sexuality and sexual orientation, student self-presentation and expression, and the subordinate status ofstudents beneath faculty and administrators.