Young, Gifted and Diverse: Origins of the New Black Elite

  • 9h 18m
  • Camille Z. Charles, Douglas S. Massey, Kimberly C. Torres, Rory Kramer
  • Princeton University Press
  • 2022

Despite their diversity, Black Americans have long been studied as a uniformly disadvantaged group. Drawing from a representative sample of over a thousand Black students and in-depth interviews and focus groups with over one hundred more, Young, Gifted and Diverse highlights diversity among the new educated Black elite—those graduating from America’s selective colleges and universities in the early twenty-first century.

Differences in childhood experiences shape this generation, including their racial and other social identities and attitudes, and beliefs about and interactions with one another. While those in the new Black elite come from myriad backgrounds and have varied views on American racism, as they progress through college and toward the Black professional class they develop a shared worldview and group consciousness. They graduate with optimism about their own futures, but remain guarded about racial equality more broadly. This internal diversity alongside political consensus among the elite complicates assumptions about both a monolithic Black experience and the future of Black political solidarity.

About the Author

Camille Z. Charles is the Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences and professor of sociology and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Rory Kramer is associate professor of sociology and criminology at Villanova University. Douglas S. Massey is the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Kimberly C. Torres is an affiliated faculty member in organizational dynamics and the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

In this Book

  • Black Diversity in Historical Perspective
  • Origins of the New Black Elite
  • Experiences of Segregation
  • Identities and Attitudes
  • Pathways to Elite Education
  • Campus Social Experiences
  • Downsides of Upward Mobility
  • Emerging Elite Identities
  • Leaks in the Pipeline
  • Convergence and Intersectionality in the Black Elite
  • References