Higher Learning

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The film Higher Learning is a call to action. It is a film that shows people as products of their environment. The film is set on a college campus, a place where most people learn about what they will do in their adult life to try to better the world or simply educate themselves in order to live a better life. However, life on the Columbus campus is not good; it is a battlefield between the races and sexes. I feel it is a bit exaggerated, but it allows people to see some of the issues that go on, on a college campus. The film focuses on three freshman (Malik, Kristen, & Remy) entering college. They enter a less than ideal new world that is filled with tension, anxiety and fear. Although the writer uses stereotypical characters, it is important to point out that although the character might be fictional; students like the ones portrayed in the film actually exist. The character I choose to analyze and associate with a student development theory was Malik; a freshman student-athlete who attends Columbus College with a partial athletic scholarship. The development of identity is a socialization process shaped by experiences with one's family, community, school, group and social affiliations. It undergoes trials and tests to serve to make the owner feel focused and stable by making life predict- able (Cross, 1995). While change in the environment is tolerated and sometimes welcomed, achange in our identity can be disturbing and difficult. Cross (1995) outlines the metamorphic process whereby African Americans "become Black." This developmental process in which African Americans develop a manner of thinking about and evaluating themselves in terms of being "Black" is called nigrescence (Cross, 1995; Helms, 1985). Cross (1995) depicts nigrescence as a resocializing experience that steers one's preexisting racial identity from Eurocentric to Afrocentric. This comprehensive model of African American racial identity development provides a rational and...
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