Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Anne H. Charity

Committee Members

Cheryl Dickter

Hermine Pinson


My project investigated the effects of institutional racism on Black students at the College of William and Mary. I interviewed twenty Black William and Mary students and analyzed existing data from the Stand Up and Be Counted survey created by Dr. Anne Charity Hudley and Dr. Cheryl Dickter between June 2015 and April 2016. The purpose of this study centered on evaluating the extent to which exposure to institutional racism at the college affects the psychological, social, and academic realities of Black students who walk the college’s campus today. I also explored the relationship between institutional racism, stereotype threat, and impostor syndrome within the lives and everyday realities of Black William and Mary students, and crafted poetry selections based on the experiences of various students in order to provide a more personal, in-depth look at Black American student experiences at William and Mary. My research moved away from previous theoretical perspectives that frame racism as a crime without actors, and instead sought to highlight the methods by which institutional racism manifests and is maintained. In conducting this research, I sought to examine the scope of certain institutionally racist policies and procedures, such as the use of culturally biased curricula and passive responses to individual acts of racism, and to situate them within historical, social, and cultural contexts centered on the preservation of White privilege (Constantine, 2006; D’Andrea and Daniels, 2007). This research has serious implications for issues of race in education as it explores the role race plays in education.

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Creative Commons License
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