Constructing Belonging: Class, Race, and Harlem's Professional Workers

By Sabiyha | Go to book overview
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NOTES TO CHAPTER ONE
1
On a personal level there were ethical problems with these types of strategies. My goal as an ethnographer was to obtain information rather than provide assistance to or advocate for these women in a micro-level way. I felt guilty because I had to stay on course to reach my goal, the case of HBR, complete my job assignment and, in the case of this data on PMW, finish graduate school. I had a gnawing sense that it was exploitive to involve myself in these women’s lives in this way particularly when I knew I would not have any time for them when these projects were completed. I elaborated on some of these issues in a paper presented at the 1998 American Anthropological Association meeting in Philadelphia entitled Socioeconomic Status and the Research Process for Black Women Anthropologists Researching African American Communities. The panel was organized by Dr. Karla Slocum to look at the experiences of black women anthropologists doing research in the African Diaspora.
2
Please note that I am not advocating racial essentialism in this discussion. These were outgrowths of the research process that I experienced, although I was keenly aware that African American culture is varied and overlapping with that of other societies and groups in the United States.

NOTES TO CHAPTER THREE
1
Tuskeegee Institute, located in Tuskeegee, Alabama, was a black institution of higher learning founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881. Washington was a spokesperson for African Americans who emphasized blacks’ acquiring land and training in the skilled crafts, animal husbandry, and agriculture, rather than push for civil rights and political self-determination (Harlan 1982). Both his public persona and writings have implica-

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