Friday, March 09, 2007

Black Students in the Ivy League

It has been widely noted that Senator Barack Obama, while black, is not a descendant of slaves. Instead, his father was a recent immigrant from Kenya. An article in today's Harvard Crimson suggests Obama (Columbia undergrad, Harvard Law School) is representative of a common story:

While Harvard leads the nation in black student yield numbers, a high proportion of those enrollees may be recent black immigrants, not African Americans, a new study found....

According to data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen conducted in 1999, immigrants account for 26.7 percent of black students at the universities used in the AJE study. At Ivy League schools, the statistic reached 40.6 percent.

Because first- and second-generation immigrants only accounted for 13 percent of all 18- and 19-year-old black students, according to the Current Population Survey conducted the same year, the numbers show that recent black immigrants are represented in these universities at higher proportions than in the general population, the study says.