The “Black Bermuda Triangle”: Succeeding when you are set up to fail

  • Ariadna Delgado Ruiz (Iowa State University)
  • Tate Blankespoor (Iowa State University)
  • Scott Nguyễn (Iowa State University)
  • Javelis Marín Castro (Iowa State University)


“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are unalienable rights provided by the United States Declaration of Independence, which are meant to be honored for every U.S. citizen, regardless of race or ethnicity. However, do these rights apply to everyone equitably? In reality, disproportionate and unfair obstacles prevent Black people from succeeding, beginning at birth. This is an issue we have named, the “Black Bermuda Triangle”. The first corner of the triangle examines the achievement gap or how Black students continually perform at lower rates than their White counterparts do. The next corner includes education and housing conditions, specifically examining how the quality of housing is closely linked to the quality of education a student receives. Socio-economic status is the last corner of the “Black Bermuda Triangle”. This metric measures the success of individuals. Throughout this session, we will explore the implications of the “Black Bermuda Triangle” and how the components systematically disadvantage Black individuals within U.S. society.

How to Cite:

Delgado Ruiz, A. & Blankespoor, T. & Nguyễn, S. & Marín Castro, J., (2020) “The “Black Bermuda Triangle”: Succeeding when you are set up to fail”, Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity 21(1).



Published on
06 Mar 2020
Peer Reviewed