chapter  13
17 Pages

Black Higher Learnin’: Black Popular Culture and The Politics of Higher Education

In the backdrop of the recent “culture wars” and anti-affirmative action debates (Appiah and Gutmann, 1996; Graff, 1992; Kelley, 1997; Loury, 2002; McWhorter, 2001; Steele, 2002) black1 popular culture discourses in two films about blacks in higher educationSchool Daze (Lee, 1988) and Higher Learning (Singleton, 1995)—offer instructive insight about race and class relations that are embedded in these debates. In addition, these films document the significance African Americans have given education as a means of upward mobility and assimilation from slavery forward (Morgan, 1995; Perry, Steele, and Hilliard, 2003). Taken in this light, these films tell more about sociocultural relations than meets the eye.