Harvard survey: 3 in 4 black students feel marginalized

A senior survey in The Harvard Crimson reported that 74 percent of black students said they felt marginalized while students.
A senior survey in The Harvard Crimson reported that 74 percent of black students said they felt marginalized while students. –JOSH REYNOLDS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

“Don’t you wish you were white like the rest of us?’’

“You’re lucky to be black…so easy to get into college!’’

“Oh, I heard her say she was going to Harvard. I just assumed she misspoke.’’

These are quotes reported by black Harvard students for the “I, Too, Am Harvard’’ photography project, in which they described racism they said they experienced at the Ivy League university.

In a new senior survey published in The Harvard Crimson, three out of four black students reported feeling marginalized at Harvard because of their race.

The report found that 24 percent of seniors said they have felt marginalized because of their race or ethnicity while at Harvard. That number includes 74 percent of black students, 40 percent of Latino students, and 54 percent of East Asian students.

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Harvard did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Boston.com

The university has one of the higher percentage of black students in the area, and its freshman class includes the highest percentage of accepted black students to date, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

Feelings of tension over class and sexual orientation are also pervasive through Harvard’s student body.

While over 60 percent of seniors reported receiving financial aid, they still didn’t feel like they belonged: 67 percent of students whose families make less than $80,000 per year said they felt marginalized because of their socioeconomic status.

Fifteen percent of Harvard students identify as “gay, bisexual, something else, or unsure,’’ and almost half of those respondents reported feeling marginalized because of their sexual orientation at some point while on campus.

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