Remembering Struggle: Exploring the Realities of Integration at Washington & Lee

The black student experience at Washington & Lee is unique in some respects, because brutal episodes of U.S. history remain so visible here. Integration and coeducation created a path towards better diversity at Washington & Lee; however, Washington & Lee's historic connection to Lost Cause mythology strongly affects the current social and academic cultures of the institution. The mission of this exhibit is to:

1. Investigate the black student experience.

2. Compare past experiences to current experiences, measuring any significant changes.

3. Educate readers on the importance of intersectionality on campus. Does the black woman have a space in W&L's history?

4. Encourage readers to remember the unique experiences that W&L's historical space forces black students to have.

5. To reflect on the importance of the black student.

 Black Student Interviews at Washington and Lee

Four researchers interviewed two black students each from every current class at Washington & Lee. They used questions from similar interviews conducted in 1997 by History Professor Robert McAhren and others. A summary of the is attached for comparison purposes.

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

The exhibit also includes individual reflections from the researchers addressing shifts in the tones of the interviews and their implications for the overall picture of the black student experience. 

Black Women: The Intersection of Coeducation and Integration at Washington and Lee University

This section addresses the importance of the Black Woman. Washington & Lee's troublesome history has created a more difficult path for individuals experiencing intersecting oppression. This collection explores many articles and images that highlight this specific experience.


Garrett Clinton, Zachary Christian, Sasha Edwards, Kitanna Hiromasa