A Badge of Honor Not Shame: An AfroLatina Theory of Black-Imiento for U.S Higher Education Research

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Amalia Dache University of Pennsylvania

Jasmine Marie Haywood Lumina Foundation

Cristina Mislán University of Missouri

To become White gave immigrants the ability to naturalize, which had implications for superiority, intelligence, and civility. Whereas the
inability to naturalize meant that Whiteness was not granted and therefore implied immorality, deviance, and inferiority.

The ways in which U.S. scholars and researchers of higher education conceptualize “race” shapes inquiry and ultimately knowledge creation and dissemination of scholarship, research, and policy contributing to the U.S. Latinx education pipeline. This conceptual study addresses the symbolic violence of what “passing for White” as Latinxs mean for studies of colleges and universities, and how centering our African and Black identities calls these manifestations into question. The focus of this study is to juxtapose themes in the U.S. higher education literature, to the experiences of AfroLatina scholars demonstrating shortcomings of “passin’ for Latinx,” which they construct as the under-theorization of the role U.S. anti-Blackness and Blackness plays in the construct of U.S. Latinidad. Therefore, a conceptual framework of Black-imiento is provided that can help expand the Latinx construct, future research, policy, and practice.

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