The Western Journal of Black Studies

Volume 33, Issue 2

Love, School, and Money: Stress and Cultural Coping
Among Ethnically Diverse Black College Women:
A Mixed-Method Analysis
Tracy L. Robinson-Wood—Northeastern University

Eighty Black college women, 18–25 years old from a private, predominantly White and urban university in the Northeast were administered the Africultural Coping Systems Inventory (ACSI). Fifty-two women or 63% had at least one parent born outside the United States mainland. Ethnically diverse parents were from America, Africa, Haiti, and the Caribbean. The ACSI asks participants to write about a recent stressor and indicate coping responses. Privileging the narrative text through a thematic analysis of self-reported stressors, relationship trouble, academic pressure, and inadequate resources were leading stressors. Of the four coping modalities: cognitive emotional, ritual, collective, and spiritual-centered, collective coping was utilized most. Differences were not detected according to immigrant history, coping modality, or category of stressor. The current study is part of ongoing research that examines coping, racial identity, and resistance in young Black women.
pp. 77-86


Mentoring: Implications for African American College Students
Aerika S. Brittian—Tufts University
Susan R. Ry–University of California, Fullerton
Julie E. Stokes–California State University, Fullerton

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of mentorship programs on African American college student’s mental health and various academic outcomes. This study utilizes quantitative and qualitative analyses to gain an in-depth perspective of student’s experiences in and deterrents to mentorship programs. Participants included 183 African American college students (36 in mentorship programs, 147 not in mentorship programs) enrolled at a large state university in Southern California. Results suggest mentorship and non-mentorship students did not differ in their experiences with common student life events, social support, and well-being. Surprisingly, mentorship students had lower gpa’s than non-mentorship students. Though mentorship students reported lower gpa results of qualitative data elucidated five key areas in which African American students reported receiving assistance. Based on participant’s experiences we have provided recommendations for the improvement of university mentoring programs.
pp. 87-97

The Social Construction of An Athlete:
African American Boy's Experience in Sport

Tonmar S. Johnson—Solano Community College
Todd A. Migliaccio—California State University, Sacramento

Sport has long been a prominent institution in the United States and even more pertinent within the African American community, offering alternative activities for kids to avoid gangs and/or drugs and possibly an avenue out of poverty. While it is statistically unlikely that a boy will achieve professional status through sport, the media, African American community and family continue to encourage African American boys to engage in sport, which can have a profound impact on their identities. Through in-depth interviews with 17 African American boys and their parent(s)/guardian(s), this study shows how sport is a symbol of success, and ultimately the American Dream for these boys, as well as how an athletic identity is constructed in an attempt to attain that dream.
pp. 98-109

Boys to Men:
How Perceptions of Manhood Influence
the Romantic Partnerships of Black Men

William Clay III—Texas Southern University

In this paper, a critical analysis of Connell’s notion of hegemonic masculinity is provided. Specifically, this paper asserts Black men’s perceptions of manhood are intrinsically linked to their level of education, their economic status, and the increased independence of Black women. Through the use of Critical Race Theory, it is proposed Black men create a version of manhood, which directly influences how they define and describe the term “manhood.” This study examined the written responses of 24 Black men between the ages of 18-51 years of age to the questions: (a) “In your opinion, what is manhood?” and (b) “In your opinion, how is manhood demonstrated?” Qualitative analyses of the data resulted in four delineated themes related to the definition and demonstration of manhood: (1) Maturity and Responsibility for Self; (2) Responsibility for Family; (3) The Provider Role; and (4) Self-Awareness. Supporting qualitative data are presented in connection with each theme. Implications for Black romantic relationships are also discussed.
pp. 110-122

The Slave's Revenge:
The Terror in Charlotte Dacre's Zofloya

Sara D. Schotland —Georgetown University

The eponymous hero of Charlotte Dacre’s 1806 novel, Zofloya, is a dark-skinned Moor who at first encounter personifies the noble royal slave. Soon Zofloya reveals himself as a literally diabolic Gothic villain. This essay discusses Zofloya in the context of literary precedents that narrate the outrage and violence of black slaves. At a time of significant slave uprisings and parliamentary debate on abolition, Dacre asks us to consider the relationship of slavery to revolt and revenge. The text simultaneously echoes abolitionists’ warnings about the potential for violence inherent in the West Indies and plays to racist stereotypes about the blacks’ alleged propensity to violence.

A Critical Assessment of the Constitutionalism Landscape in West Africa
Musa Abutudu—University of Benin, Nigeria

The constitutions that ushered most West African states into sovereign statehood generally established multi-party democracies modeled after their respective former colonizers. These constitutional forms and structures did not last long in the post-colonial period as they generally succumbed to a rash of military dictatorship and one party-rule. The new wave of democratization which has engulfed the sub-region since the late 1980s has created new possibilities for the rebirth of constitutionalism. Term limits, division of powers, separation of powers, independent judiciary, fundamental human rights, etc., are general hallmarks of most of the new democratic constitutions. However, giving life to these provisions in the day to day operation of these constitutions must contend with the old habits of personal rule, authoritarianism and culture of impunity.
pp. 132-139


Book Reviews

African or American? Black Identity and Politcal Activism
in New York City, 1784–1861

Author: Leslie M. Alexander
Reviewer: Gary Grizzle, Barry University
pp. 140-141

Black Sailor, White Navy: Racial Unrest in the Fleet During the Vietnam War Era
Author: John Darrell Sherwood
Reviewer: Robert Fikes, Jr., San Diego State University

pp. 141-143

Envisioning Black Colleges: A History of the United Negro College Fund:
Why a Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Author: Marybeth Gasman
Reviewer: Tracie N. Babb, Bowie State University
pp. 143-144

The History of Ethiopia
Author: Saheed D. Adejumobi
Reviewer: Ngozi Kamalu, Fayetteville State University
pp. 145-147

Bridging Race Divides: Black Nationalism, Feminism, and Intergration in the United States, 1896–1935
Author: Kate Dosset
Reviewer: Renford Reese, Cal Poly Pomona University
pp. 148-149

The Man Who Adores the Negro: Race and American Folklore
Author: Patrick B. Mullen
Reviewer: Amy E. Carreiro, Oklahoma State University
pp. 149-151

WJBS Cover


The WJBS site is normally maintained by
Tanya Gonzales
. Please feel free to e-mail comments, queries, and suggestions.



Heading using the h3 tag

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.