Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Briana Toole

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Color has been the demarcating factor in systematically separating particularly Black and white communities, insofar as barring access to education, housing, transportation, and basic civil rights. In the fight against segregation, and a movement towards integration, the area that this we have notoriously failed in is education. This paper is an opportunity to combine the practical with the epistemological (relating to beliefs about knowledge acquisition and validity) and question the hidden or coded elements that are associated with social integration. Where do we draw the line between the social integration and assimilation? I will be exploring the concept of epistemological harms that integration may bring, especially when used as a mask for assimilating the marginalized with the dominant.

We have built, and continue to maintain, a system that can be metaphorized as a melting pot – assimilating the beliefs, experiences, and knowledge of the groups thrown into it to produce a fused product which we call integration. To maintain the representation of whiteness as the construct with which we lead our society, our past efforts have sacrificed a more just appetite of a tossed salad for a cohesive result. The intention of this discussion is to shed light on the realities of segregation and some of the complex, epistemic implications of integration in an America plagued by the historical conflict of a dominant white group and a marginalized Black group.