GSE Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

March 2007


Ways in which membership in student organizations, both predominantly Black and mainstream, provide space for Black identity expression and development were explored in this study. Based on individual interviews conducted with African American male student leaders at six predominantly White universities, findings reveal a nexus between Black identity status, the selection of venues for out-of-class engagement, and the use of student organizations as platforms for racial uplift and the advocacy of racial/ethnic minority student interests. Moreover, the acquisition of cross-cultural communication skills, the development of care for other disenfranchised groups, and the pursuit of social justice via leadership and student organization membership were reported by the participants and are connected to racial identity development theories in this article.


Copyright © 2007 The John Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in Journal of Student College Development, Volume 48, Issue 2, March 2007, pages 127-144.

Note: At the time of publication, the author, Shaun R. Harper, was affiliated with the Pennsylvania State University. Currently, he is a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.


African American male college student, African American race identity, African American leadership



Date Posted: 29 September 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.