A Flash Forward: Has the Black Student Experience at W&L Shifted?

Dublin Core


A Flash Forward: Has the Black Student Experience at W&L Shifted?


Black Student Experience


To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me—
That is my dream!

- Langston Hughes, "Dream Variations"

This collection documents black students' experiences, comparing transcripts from 1997 interviews to interviews with current students. Summary statements address changes and similarities between the two eras.


Garrett Clinton, Kitanna Hiromasa, Sasha Edwards, Zachary Christian


May 16th, 2018



Collection Items

Demographics in 1997 versus 2018
The numbers for "Perceptions of Socioeconomic Status" from 2018 are somewhat consistent to those from 1997.* Economically, several of the black students that were interviewed in 2018 believed themselves to be either of a much lower economic class…

In interview #1, the student voices frustrations with her experiences at W&L. Rather than expanding upon the negative side of her experience, she outlines a variety of coping skills that she has developed to deal with the environment surrounding her.…

In the exit interviews conducted from 1997-1999 and the interviews we conducted in the Spring of 2018, black students were asked whether they experienced any discrimination on campus and what their greatest struggle was at Washington and Lee. While…

Perceptions of Self
In this sample, 63% of students identified as a racial group first, an increase from the 50% in 1997. In the “other” category, one student had an answer involving race that was intertwined with academics: “Well deserving, high-achieving student that…

The Honor System at Washington and Lee is one pillar of this institution that draws potential students in. Since 1901, the Honor System has driven the way of life on campus, deterring W&L community members from lying, cheating, stealing, or in…
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