In order to explore the social realities and centrality of race for African American students at a predominantly white institution, this inquiry applied case study methodology to the multidimensional model of racial identity (MMRI). Rather than following quantitative methodology which operationalizes racial identity through surveys, the study utilized in-depth interviews to capture students' racial realities. Directly utilizing survey items from the multidimensional inventory of black identity (MIBI) in the interview protocol, this methodology allowed participants to be reflective of the influence of the institutional environment. Findings revealed insight regarding how African American students exhibit their understandings of race through involvement in student organizations. Challenges to overcoming stereotypes and barriers to black group connectivity gave evidence to the need for a heterogeneous approach to the involvement and identity development of African American students.



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