The Vermont Connection


Keyiona Ritchey


The purpose of this literature review is to discuss the stages of Black identity development among Black students in higher education attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs). I explore the different stages of Nigrescence, which is the process of becoming Black (Cross, 1991). Research on Black identity development is critical for student affairs professionals because it can serve as a foundation to help understand different developmental processes that Black students may experience in college. Ultimately, competency in Nigrescence can help influence how student affairs professionals help support Black students as they learn to navigate their racial identity in college. Additionally, student affairs professionals can help aid in persistence and retention efforts made by colleges.