Finding Common Ground
by Paula T Ross
This study explored the fundamental formulations that shape perspectives on racial solidarity among one group of African Americans. The perspectives ... Show synopsis This study explored the fundamental formulations that shape perspectives on racial solidarity among one group of African Americans. The perspectives gained in this study aid in understanding the existence, origin, and views toward the concept. In-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted with individuals from two generational cohorts: ages 18 to 30 (post-Civil Rights era) and ages 50 and older (Civil Rights era). This study describes a process by which racial solidarity appears to have diminished among some African Americans. This transition seems to have occurred as a result of the deterioration of the traditional African American community, the acceptance of externally imposed beliefs about the racial group, and in-group sabotaging behaviors that create numerous problems within the younger generation. Reports from participants within the post-Civil Rights generational cohort provide some insight into the magnitude of these problems. Strategies African Americans can use to improve racial solidarity are offered.