Thesis ID: CBB521355273

A Critical Discourse Analysis of HBCUs and Their Place in Science and Technology From 1979–80 as Told by Four National Newspapers (2023)


This study was an investigation of how national newspapers contributed to the reproduction of racism as they reported on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the need for more Black Americans in STEM programs. The existence of racism in newspaper discourse reaffirms the long-standing perception that HBCUs, and the Black Americans they serve, do not deserve full educational participation in society. The lack of diversity in STEM fields represents a key area where a critical exploration of how HBCUs are described is needed. Specifically, four national newspapers, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, printed during the period of March 7, 1979, to December 12, 1980 were explored. Critical race theory provided the theoretical foundation of the study to explain why racism is a continued aspect of society that limits the STEM access of HBCUs. The research question for the study sought to understand the constructed images of HBCUs and Black students present in national newspaper discourse with respect to STEM topics. Using a critical discourse analysis approach, the study included 15 articles relevant to the topic. A key marker of relevant discourse was the passing of the 1980 National Science Foundation Authorization and Science and Technology Equal Opportunities Act, which provided HBCU students with additional access to science and technology curriculums and degrees. The study found discourse that represented a battle for HBCU continued existence, images of Black students as academically incapable, and implicit uses of racism to uphold notions of White supremacy. Implications to the field include a need for a more critical lens to be taken when framing events about HBCUs and Black students as these contribute to the collective perception of these groups as inferior.

Citation URI

This citation is part of the Isis database.

Similar Citations

Article J.V. Clark; (1985)
The Status of Science and Mathematics in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (/p/isis/citation/CBB434728530/) unapi

Book David Chanoff; Louis W. Sullivan; (2022)
We'll Fight It Out Here: A History of the Ongoing Struggle for Health Equity (/p/isis/citation/CBB412812968/) unapi

Article Merryn McKinnon; Chris Bryant; (April 2017)
Thirty Years of a Science Communication Course in Australia: Genesis and Evolution of a Degree (/p/isis/citation/CBB983525634/) unapi

Book Earl Wright II Ph.D; (2020)
Jim Crow Sociology: The Black and Southern Roots of American Sociology (/p/isis/citation/CBB157470666/) unapi

Article Christopher C. Jett; (2013)
HBCUs Propel African American Male Mathematics Majors (/p/isis/citation/CBB228349905/) unapi

Article Jerlando F. L. Jackson; LaVar J. Charleston; Juan E. Gilbert; Cheryl Seals; (2013)
Changing Attitudes About Computing Science at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Benefits of an Intervention Program Designed for Undergraduates (/p/isis/citation/CBB409441715/) unapi

Book Dana R. Chandler; Edith Powell; (2018)
To Raise Up the Man Farthest Down: Tuskegee University’s Advancements in Human Health, 1881–1987 (/p/isis/citation/CBB807329182/) unapi

Article Reardon, Jenny; (2012)
The Democratic, Anti-Racist Genome? Technoscience at the Limits of Liberalism (/p/isis/citation/CBB001251158/) unapi

Book Melissa Diane Armstrong; (2020)
An Ambulance on Safari: The ANC and the Making of a Health Department in Exile (/p/isis/citation/CBB935246702/) unapi

Book Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow William Carruthers; William Carruthers; (2022)
Flooded Pasts: UNESCO, Nubia, and the Recolonization of Archaeology (/p/isis/citation/CBB596129663/) unapi

Book Dorothy Roberts; (2012)
Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century (/p/isis/citation/CBB614222033/) unapi

Book Jonathan M. Metzl; (2020)
Étouffer la révolte: La psychiatrie contre les Civils Rights, une histoire du contrôle social (/p/isis/citation/CBB840020850/) unapi

Book Jackson, John P., Jr.; (2005)
Science for Segregation: Race, Law, and the Case against Brown v. Board of Education (/p/isis/citation/CBB000760695/) unapi

Article Miquel Carandell Baruzzi; (2016)
The First American Scoop: The Pedra Furada Controversy in Newspapers (1978–2015) (/p/isis/citation/CBB732505348/) unapi

Article Seppänen, Janne; Väliverronen, Esa; (2003)
Visualizing Biodiversity: The Role of Photographs in Environmental Discourse (/p/isis/citation/CBB000640408/) unapi

Article Ahern, Lee; Bortree, Denise Sevick; Smith, Alexandra Nutter; (2013)
Key Trends in Environmental Advertising across 30 Years in National Geographic Magazine (/p/isis/citation/CBB001320412/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Ahern, Lee
Bortree, Denise Sevick
Bryant, Chris
Carandell Baruzzi, Miquel
Carruthers, William
Jackson, John P., Jr.
Science as Culture
Journal of African American Studies
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Korean Journal of Medical History
Perspectives on Science
Public Understanding of Science
University of Minnesota
Cornell University Press
Éditions Autrement
Johns Hopkins University Press
McGill-Queen's University Press
New Press
Science and race
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
African Americans and science
Health care
Foucault, Michel
Johnson, Charles Spurgeon
Washington, Booker Taliaferro
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
United States
Alabama (U.S.)
Minnesota (U.S.)
Tuskegee Institute
International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics (IAAEE)
African National Congress
Association of Minority Health Professions Schools (AMHPS)
Fisk University

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment