Understanding Colorblind Racism: Through the Eyes of Black Men

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


Many claim racism is nonexistent in today’s America but a black male would never make the same assertion. Some Americans claim we live in a colorblind society, a culture beyond race, a place where racism is invisible or completely noexistent, but this simply is not true. When used in discussions on discrimination, the term "Colorblindness" is meant to deny the existence of racism by using non-racial factors as evidence of a just system. How then, do black male college students perceive racism in America today? It seems that black men perceive themselves one way, but are perceived by society in a different way. This is a subject that not much research has been conducted on. Therefore, I conducted fifteen qualitative interviews with black male college students of various ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. My research subjects were mostly students from a small private liberal arts college in Southern California with the other few from a university in Virginia. The rationale behind my research is specifically studying black male perceptions regarding racism. My results show that black male college students do indeed perceive racism although it is subtle in nature as opposed to the overt forms of the past. Not only do they perceive it but many of them also think about racism daily, usually several times a day.


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