Family, Home, and Social Sciences
First Faculty Advisor
Dr. Christopher Jones
First Faculty Reader
Dr. Jacob Rugh
Dr. Stewart Anderson
BYU; Race; Racism; Brigham Young University; Provo
This thesis examines the yearbook for Brigham Young University which ran from 1911-1985. It analyzes the ways in which white students not only asserted and defended their whiteness, but how they superimposed narratives and identities upon other groups. Black students were largely ignored and their inclusion depended upon the schools need to defend itself against accusations of racism and for white students to remain in racial innocence. White students also exhibited various anti-Black behaviors in an attempt to distance themselves from blackness to attain whiteness. Native American students were homogenized and forced to fit into the white students and administrations Lamanite narrative found in The Book of Mormon denying them of their unique tribal heritage and
cultures. As apart of this narrative white students were able to place themselves at the top of a racial hierarchy, making it their mission to “redeem” and “uplift” Native Americans who they viewed as a fallen people. Asian students on the other hand were allowed more control over their narrative only because there was no prescribed theological identity to place upon them like in the case of Native Americans. White students exhibited an immense fascination for Asian peoples and cultures in an often voyeuristic and ignorant ways.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Soelberg, Grace Ann, "Peculiar Students of a Peculiar Institution: A Historical Analysis of Racial Minority Students and Race Relations at Brigham Young University as Presented in the Banyan From 1911-1985" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 211.