I have a lot I want to say and here is a warning before you dig into reading, I will be saying a lot in part. This is because the best way to put out my idea is through my podcast “Metamorphosis with Tobi” or on my blog.
Just because it is still Black history month, and we are really pushing for this thing called “Diversity.” I am certain I am not the only one thinking about the spread of the so-called Diversity, especially in February Black History Month. It makes me wonder if the diversity that these companies or schools display on social media is true. You see advertisements, posters, quotes, and all from companies, they use a black person or a person of color just to show diverse and inclusive they are in employing workers in their establishments. I am not oblivious to the reality that yes there are those who are diverse or striving genuinely to do it. I have heard personal stories of how during Black History month, a person of color’s picture will be put up but, such a person is treated otherwise. I know that there are those who are genuine and treat people of color justly, but this is for those who pretend.
Walker-DeVose et al. (2019), “Diversity is reviewed as inherently benefiting white students as ‘students of color are admitted so that they can help White students become more racially tolerant, liven up class dialog, and prepare white students for getting a job in a multicultural, global economy” (p.357). Okay, I am in shock. The educational sphere is not left out. Asides from the issue of being a person of color which naturally makes you a minority student, have you tried counting how many of your professors are people of color. I may be wrong, but I am aware that these things sometimes have little to do with departments. For instance, we may have more Asians in Chemistry or mostly white people in the criminal justice department.
Porter et al. (2020) research draws my attention, “Just being present on campus in full-time faculty positions does not mean Black women are welcomed with open arms into the academy, given the necessary support to progress through tenure and promotion, or paid equally for their labor” (p.678). On average, once you are not white, the struggle is real. Multiple jeopardies is a form of oppression that a black woman deals with all her life. Even in academia, her being, survival, visibility, and relevance are based on a narrow and sectional set of expectations from her white, male colleagues. Then, this brings me to the issue of citational politics.
It is interesting to know that citational politics is an issue in 2021. “Cite Black Women is a Black feminist intellectual project, praxis, and global movement to decolonize the practice of citation by redressing epistemic erasure of Black women from the literal and figurative bibliographies of the world” (Smith 2021, p.12). If we keep citing white, male authors or a particular set of people, it means that knowledge is drawn from a limited/divided set of experiences. Thus, higher education is in dire need of decolonization. You do it, I do it, we do it unintentionally.
Note, even the term “Person of Color” infuriates me because I wonder if being black indicates the color black, then white is what, not a color?
What do you think about slavery? If you think it has ended, then you are misled. Bryan Stevenson says, ‘slavery didn’t end in 1865, it just evolved.’ I am angry, and my anger is a response to injustice. My anger is not that of the whites’ “controlling image or stereotype” that is being used to naturally describe a black woman as an angry woman.
I think I just put my keyboard to rest here, all cannot be said in one post. I leave to write another day.
Porter, C. J., Moore, C. M., Boss, G. J., Davis, T. J., & Louis, D. A. (2020). To Be Black Women and Contingent Faculty: Four Scholarly Personal Narratives. Journal of Higher Education, 91(5), 674-697. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2019.1700478
Walker-DeVose, D. C., Dawson, A., Schueths, A. M., Brimeyer, T., & Freeman, J. Y. (2018, November 30). Southern assumptions: Normalizing racialized structures at a university in the Deep South. Race, Ethnicity and Education. Retrieved February 21, 2022, from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1206633