A Broken Silence: Voices of African American Women in the Academy

A Broken Silence: Voices of African American Women in the Academy

A Broken Silence: Voices of African American Women in the Academy

A Broken Silence: Voices of African American Women in the Academy

Synopsis

This book addresses the interlocking systems of race and gender in institutions of higher education in America. The study is based on empirical data from African American women of various disciplines in faculty and administrative positions at traditionally white colleges and universities. It focuses primarily on narratives of the women in terms of how they are affected by racism, as well as sexism as they perform their duties in their academic environments. The findings suggest that a common thread exists relative to the experiences of the women. The book challenges and dispels the myth that Black progress has led to equality for African American women in the academy.

Excerpt

This book, about the voices of African American/black women in the academy, could not be more timely and appropriate than at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Black women scholars employed in predominantly white colleges and universities are a rather recent phenomenon. The 1970s started the entry of black women into these institutions, but this entry has not resulted in any significant increase. Most of these African American women have been and are still employed in community colleges or non–major research institutions. Irrespective of the type of institution where these women are found, their voices have been rather silent; and even when not silent, they are often not heard. Through the many efforts to dismantle affirmative action, which benefited white women much more than black women, color-blind ideology is on the rise, and it suggests that race need not be considered salient in achieving equal opportunity. Such ideology and perception are more likely to lead to the silencing of African American women’s voices now than in the past. There seems to be an assumption that opportunities are equal for everyone and that racism is practically dead. Hence, sources of black disadvantages are per-

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