© 2017

Black Collegians’ Experiences in US Northern Private Colleges

A Narrative History, 1945-1965


  • Expands on the limited existing scholarship focusing on northern college racial integration during the post-war period.

  • Draws from oral histories and archival documents to present a narrative study of Black collegians

  • Addresses the implications of documenting collective memory of campus student cultures


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 1-27
  3. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 29-48
  4. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 49-68
  5. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 69-88
  6. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 89-106
  7. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 107-133
  8. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 135-143
  9. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 145-174
  10. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 175-182
  11. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 183-192
  12. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
    Pages 193-202
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 203-277

About this book


This book is a narrative study of the lives and experiences of sixty-eight Black collegians in a set of northern private colleges in the Midwest between 1945 and 1965. Through oral histories and archival material, this text documents and reflects on their experiences in the racially isolated, northern, rural towns in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Western Pennsylvania. This history illuminates both the empowerment of these collegians and the persistent challenges of enacting institutional values in the face of resistance from both outside and within. Stewart seeks to understand the nature of progress toward pluralistic diversity in college environments characterized by the paradox of racial homogeneity and interracial engagement. In this way, the complex interplay of social movements, institutional context, individual identities, and the experiences of marginalized students in postsecondary education are more effectively demonstrated.


Higher education Integration Black educational history Liberal arts colleges Oral history Black collegians Post-war era Civil rights era

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Bowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

About the authors

Dafina-Lazarus Stewart is Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University, USA, where ze researches diversity, equity, and justice in US higher education, particularly focused on student experiences, outcomes, and institutional transformation.  

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Black Collegians’ Experiences in US Northern Private Colleges
  • Book Subtitle A Narrative History, 1945-1965
  • Authors Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-59076-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-93724-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-59077-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXIX, 277
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Higher Education
    History of Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“This book is an invaluable and unique contribution to the field. It is one of the few studies in higher education to articulate the history and life cycle of African American college students. Stewart has arguably written one of the most nuanced accounts on the subject to date.” (Christopher M. Span, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)

"Stewart fastens together historical narratives with skillful representations of educational theory, providing opportunities for voices of black collegians to shine, roar, sit silently, reflect, and inform throughout the book. This book is a compelling narrative of beautiful stories, often untold.” (Marybeth Gasman, Professor of Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania, USA)

“While much of the historiography of the topic of racial integration focuses on colleges and universities in the South, this engaging and insightful analysis of the narratives of northern black students will greatly enhance our understanding of a pivotal period in US higher education.” (Christopher Broadhurst, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, University of New Orleans, USA)