Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

October 1978


A course on American Racism might be though to benefit mainly white students. This paper demonstrates how Black social work students in their own idiosyncratic way derive special benefit from such a course. Black students in search of a professional identity bring with them personal life experiences of oppression and social alienation. They make an important connection with the use of the immediate present as an effective means to counteract attitudinal/institutional white racism. Learning that the past cannot change, but that feelings about the past can, is liberating and has significance for their developing professional identity.


Reprinted from the Journal of Education for Social Work, Volume 14, Issue 3, 1978, pages 27-33.

The author asserts his right to include this material in the ScholarlyCommons@Penn.



Date Posted: 16 January 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.