McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Apollo Emeka

emeka.apollo.jpg

Major and Classification

Sociology

Faculty Mentor

  • Lanita Jacobs-Huey, Ph.D.

Department

  • Anthropology

McNair Project

The Dawn of Integration and the Foundation for a Color-Blind Perspective Among Blacks

The civil rights actions in the 1960's fostered an environment for robust discussions on race. The resulting legislation sought to promote equality, and end segregation in schools and other public places. As discriminatory language was purged from mainstream U.S. policies and popular discourse, discussion of racial difference gave way to "color-blind" ideologies. This study specifically examines the how the effects of integration and early "color-blind" ideologies affect the success and racial perspectives of Blacks raised in integrated environments. The data were collected through the 1982 General Social Survey measuring demographic and attitudinal variables. Four hundred seventy (470 ) Black respondents were identified as eligible. This sample was bifurcated into two groups, those who attended predominantly White high schools and those who attended predominantly Black high schools. Quantitative methods were employed in order to identify any possible difference in racial attitudes and economic success levels depending on the racial composition of the high school the respondent attended. This study found that Blacks who went to predominantly White high schools displayed color-blind attributes to a greater extent than the respondents who attended predominantly Black high schools. Blacks who went to predominantly White high schools were also more economically successful and less worried about the security of their job. This study illustrates that while integration efforts can be helpful for those who receive direct benefit, they may also take away a minority's ability to talk about racial afflictions and maintain racial inequality under the guise of progressive thought.