Black and Brown: The Impact of Chicana/o Studies on Chicanas/os' Perceptions of African-Americans

This study examines the relationship(s) between African-American (Black) and Chicana/o (Brown) communities. The study provides positive, negative, historical, and contemporary examples of Black and Brown interactions. The study presents a discussion of Chicana/o Studies and Racial Identity Development in order to expand existing discussions of Black and Brown relations and discussions of the benefits of Chicana/o Studies. The following queries helped guide this research project: 1) What spaces do Chicanas/os and African-Americans share?; 2) What specific factors found in Chicana/o Studies impact the Racial Identity Development of Chicana/o Studies majors; 3) How does participation in Chicana/o Studies impact Chicanas/os' perceptions of African-Americans? This research was, in part, conducted in an attempt to explore the idea of Chicana/o Studies serving as a medium for improving relations between Chicanas/os and African-Americans. Six recent Chicana/o Studies graduates were interviewed to explore how Chicana/o Studies impacted their Racial Identity Development. Results suggest a positive relationship between Chicana/o Studies and Chicanas/os' perceptions of African-Americans. Furthermore, the findings suggest that students who completed their Bachelor of Art's in Chicana/o Studies also showed a positive relationship with their own individual Racial Identity Development. Suggestions for future research are presented at the end of this study.