Black Women at Princeton University

analytical Essay
1694 words
1694 words

In this brief report, I will be examining common practices, policies and resources that support Black women attending Princeton University. Included is a brief review of national averages in regards to higher education attainment and a rationale for continued rhetoric on this topic. My interest in this topic stem from my experience at State University’s Women Studies Program. While the conversation around gender is necessary and crucial, little attention was given to discussions of how race and gender affect an individual’s lived experience. I was constantly aware of my lack of representation among students who were in those classes and the faculty who taught.


Obtaining higher education is regarded as the ultimate symbol of status in the United States (US). Access to a college education in this country is seen as an expression of academic excellence and can provide access to unlimited possibilities. In the US, Ivy Leagues are considered the elite and represent the most powerful ideogram of educational opportunity. According to the National Center for Education Statistics [NCES] (2012), from 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the percentages of both master's and doctor's degrees earned by females increased from 1999–2000 to 2009–10 from 58 to 60 percent and from 45 to 52 percent. The NCES report (2012), found that in 2009-10, of the 10.3 percent Black students who earned Bachelor degrees; 65.9 percent were women. Of the 12.5% of Black students who earned Master’s degree in 2009-10, 71.1 percent were women; and of the 7.4 percent of Black students who earned doctoral level degrees (this includes most degrees previously regarded as first-professional, i.e. M.D., D.D.S., and law degrees), 65.2 percent were women (NCES, 2012)...

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...n Higher Education, 45(5), 529-553.

Prentice, H. Report of the Trustee Ad Hoc Committee, (2013). On diversity. Retrieved from Princeton University website:

Rein, R. K. (1973, March 6). Black Princeton. The Princeton Alumni Weekly, pp. 8-14.

Rimer, S., & Arenson, K. W. (2004, June 24). Top colleges take more blacks, but which ones?. The New York Times. Retrieved from colleges-take-more-blacks-but-which-ones.html.

Robinson, M.L. (1985) Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community (Unpublished thesis). Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012, May 24). The Condition of Education 2012 (NCES 2012-045). Retrieved from

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that they will examine common practices, policies, and resources that support black women attending princeton university. their interest stems from their experience at state university's women studies program.
  • Explains that higher education is regarded as the ultimate symbol of status in the us. ivy leagues are considered the elite and represent the most powerful ideogram of educational opportunity.
  • Explains that of harvard's 530 black undergraduates in 2003-2004 academic year, approximately 180 graduates could claim a black american heritage.
  • Analyzes how princeton university's michelle obama thesis validates that the lack of presence of women of color creates a hostile and unwelcoming environment for women who identify as black.
  • Explains that the princeton association of black women (pabw) stands out as the best utilized resource for women who identify as black.
  • Argues that if universities aren't invested and commit to research and discovery, they run the risk of failing a significant portion of today's college students.
  • Opines that the lack of noticeable diversity within the university, faculty and alumni reinforces the need for a separatist mentality.
  • Explains that the faculty diversity initiative is an initiative adopted by nearly all universities in an effort to increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority faculty.
  • Explains that in 2010, less than one quarter of princeton's associate and full professors were women, up from 3 percent three decades ago. black women who might be looking for mentors are left with few choices.
  • Concludes that princeton and its peers are nowhere near accurately representing the us today in its gender and racial make-up. in a healthy campus climate, individuals feel respected, valued, welcomed and revered by their chosen university.
  • Explains that princeton university endorses plan to increase diversity among faculty, staff, and graduate students.
  • Cites the report of the trustee ad hoc committee on diversity.
  • Explains that princeton university's report on diversity is available at
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