Black college students’ sense of belonging and racial identity

Carla Desi-Ann Hunter, Andrew D. Case, I. Shevon Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Black racial identity model and theory refinement has occurred in the absence of considerations of how Black college students experience and articulate their sense of belonging to the racial group. To fill this gap, the present study utilised storytelling as a framework and investigated how sense of belonging with racial in-group members was expressed in Black college students’ racial identities. Qualitative phenomenological and consensual analytic approaches were employed to examine 13 (7 women, 6 men) Black freshman and sophomore undergraduate students’ narratives related to sense of belonging to the racial group. The findings highlighted at least three ways in which Black college students experience and negotiate a sense of belonging to the racial group: (a) authenticating Blackness, (b) acculturative loss, and (c) connection with and responsibility toward others. Implications for racial identity research and theory are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-966
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Black college students
  • college students
  • qualitative inquiry
  • racial identity
  • sense of belonging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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