The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Michael Mills

Third Advisor

Semya Hakim

Fourth Advisor

Tamrat Tademe

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Black, Student, Activism, Vanguard, Reconstituting, Racially


This study researched the current role of black student campus activism in a Midwestern, predominantly white institution (PWI). The researcher employed Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework and qualitative methodology to amalgamate 10 black student narratives about their participation or nonparticipation in Black Student Campus Activism (BSCA). The researcher found that BSCA is active at this PWI, as it shows up in various forms, such as sit-ins, teaching and awareness of peers, social media organizing, and participation in the campuses black student organizations. The development of black students’ racial identities and critical racial-consciousness development (or being “woke”) enhanced participants involvement in BSCA. Black oppression on and off campus nationally triggered BSCA, as well as everyday racism and pro-Trump political hate speech. Fear of campus administration by expulsion, legality, students’ fear of their names being associated to BSCA, and interfering with future career opportunities were impediments to BSCA. While this dissertation provides critical insight about being Black in predominantly white spaces of higher learning, it also provides imperative suggestions on ways to create racially-equitable campuses for all students, in particular, black students.



Throughout this process, I have often had to draw upon the strength, knowledge and wisdom, and support from individuals whom love and believe me. This body of work is dedicated to my ancestors, my loved ones, Pan Africans, Black students, Black struggle, Black resistance, and Black Liberation. I am a byproduct of the sacrifice of my ancestors, elders, and family members. With the highest level of gratitude, I honor you with this body of work.

To my mother Teri Davis Franklin, I would not be than man I am without your continued sacrifice. Your tireless work ethic has been instilled into me, and your commitment to serving others has been instilled into me. I literally and figuratively would be nothing without you. Mom, I love you, and I thank you for your unconditional love of me.

To all my Clay, Coleman, Davis, Davies, Hughes, Sublett, Robinson, and Tyus family members, I thank you for the support you all provided me in completing this dissertation. From babysitting my children, fixing and maintaining my home, or just providing words of continued encouragement. Again, I thank you.

To my brothers Marlon, Chad, and Kaliq, I’m finally done, and your patience and understanding for my distance during this journey is much appreciated. North High Brothers transforming the world.

To my mentor’s Alex, Brother Kenneth, and Harry, your continued guidance and patience with my revolutionary thought and growth has been much appreciated. Your insight and direction to helping complete this process was necessary. To the Abdur Salaam family, I thank you for the continued reminder of accomplishing this task, paying attention to home and self-care. Lastly, my sister and brother Vanessa and Jonathan, your scholarly support and insight to the completion of this dissertation has been greatly appreciated. Tag, you all our next.

I want to affirm my dissertation committee, Dr. Hakim, Dr. Tademe, Dr. Mills, and Dr. McCullar. Thank you for the guidance throughout this journey. I want to provide affirmation for lifelong pillars of support. I still love her; Hip-hop has been a huge influence in my intellectual growth. Black studies, Black scholars, Black history, and elders have helped in my development of knowledge of self, and my African critical consciousness. 612 has been the place I have called home for over years. I represent 612 to the fullest. Thandi, Sadiq, Syra, Shelby, and Anthony, your regular check-ins held me accountable to completing my goal. Lastly, I want to thank my cohort 3 members and Corey for encouraging me throughout this process. Dr. Davis and Dr. Roan, you all assured me that your brother would complete this process, and I thank you all for this.

To Mama Freedom, Ms. Bland, Queen Quet, Dr. Degruy, and Dr. Dennis, when this process got rough, I drew upon your commitment to black people, and your continued fight for freedom to get me through this process. I am the extension of your work for Black liberation. I will continue the work you and many others started before me. Lastly, thank you Dr. Kendi, you opened up my eyes to the under researched area of Black Campus Movement. I intend to keep adding to the scarce scholarly research of Black college students whom participate in Black student campus activism.

All the Black students, and Black student organizations that participated in this study, I thank you. Without you, this body of work could not have come to fruition. Your insight, your truth telling, and your commitment to Black student campus activism is shared in the forthcoming pages to the world for change. Continue to demand, continue to be African/Black, and continue to challenge the oppression present on higher education campuses and in society.

Lastly, I want to thank the people whom have been most directly affected by my absence over the last 7 years. My queen Keisha, my princess Khamarei, my prince Justus, and my Prince Naszir. I thank you for your willingness to allow me the space and time to be able to complete this seven year body of work. Throughout this process, all of my children were born, and my Queen was the major pillar of support providing me encouragement to complete this process. While my studies have often pulled me away from you, we have endured this strenuous process as a stronger family because of it. Our sacrifice, your sacrifice for me will benefit us. My love for you all is infinite, and I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to express this. Thank you, for your unwavering support and commitment to me. Your daddy, husband is all yours again. I’m eager to watch our family grow.

This body of work is dedicated to the memories of Joyce Coleman, Grandma Louise, Grandma Betty, and Grandpa Tracy. I love you and miss you all.



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