The Precarious Question of Black Cultural Centers Versus Multicultural Centers
This paper discusses the role of black cultural centers on university campuses, focusing on whether black cultural centers or multicultural centers best meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body and society. It examines the historical role of black cultural centers as vehicles to promote educational opportunity, student retention, and ethnic solidarity on predominantly white university campuses. In then looks at the transition from black cultural centers to multicultural centers on many campuses, discussing sensitive issues related to the maintenance of black cultural centers. Using examples from the experience of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in dealing with these issues, it argues that, despite budget cutbacks, universities need to preserve black cultural centers as unique institutions while seeking to create multicultural centers or programs to meet the needs of other minority students.