Understanding the “Bling-bling Generation”

Many of the constructs that describe Millennials, or 21st-century young people, also referred to as Generation M, don’t seem to apply to Black undergraduates, according to research in the current National Association of Student Affairs Professionals Journal.

Sheltered, indulged, protected. These describe most millennials, but for students of color “these factors have been at best incongruent and at worst non-applicable,” says Dr. Fred Bonner, who co-edited with Dr. Robin Hughes the special themed issue on Black millennial college students. Even students question the millennial label, with one focus group participant calling her cohorts the “Bling-bling generation.”

As college administrators prepare for an increasingly diverse student population, this body of research on Black millennials’ experiences, educational aspirations and influences may help administrators better understand and respond to this generation.

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