Academic Institutional Racism

The United States was created on the basis of racial inequity. Although, there has been improvement over the past 100 years, it is clear that there is a need for change. In Tweedy’s books, Black Man In A While Coat, He describes how racism effects black peoples lives across the USA. In this essay I will argue that racism presents itself in institution. To strengthen this argument, I will use an example about academics and higher education in Tweedy’s book.

Institutional racism is in no means a novel idea. It is clear that black Americans face issues that white Americans rarely, or never have to worry about. One of the more complicated and controversial topics Tweedy discusses in his book, are scholarships to the black community. The scholarships are in intended to ensure diversity and equity in universities. However, Tweedy describes how this can lead to academic inequality in the classroom. Tweedy states, “It is often said that the hardest part of an Ivy League education is getting admitted. But for a significant group of black students, surviving medical school is a real hurdle” (Tweedy 23). Tweedy is stating that majority of black people who enter into prestigious colleges are not academically prepared for the rigor of the school work. This leads to an increase in black students who have to repeat courses. This is an example of institutional racism. Although no one is outrightly being racist. The system (academia) is set up in a way that helps disadvantage individuals receive a quality education. However, it puts people from diverse back grounds on an uneven playing field when it comes to succeeding in school.


Work cited

  1. Tweedy, Damon. Black Man in a White Coat: a Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine. Picador,