Black Women in the Academy: Promises and Perils

Black Women in the Academy: Promises and Perils

Black Women in the Academy: Promises and Perils

Black Women in the Academy: Promises and Perils


"(Addresses) the status, acceptance, progression, and teaching of black women.... Gives insight into the totality of the African American woman's experience in the academy" -- Shelley Goode, Spelman College


In this edited volume, black women administrators and faculty, exploring the thematic issues of identity, power, and change, examine the impact of racism and sexism in higher education. From a holistic framework, these academicians utilize multiple approaches -- conceptual, empirical, and experientialto understand and document racism and sexism, while weaving stories of windows of opportunity and the woes and wounds of the warriors who make their sojourn inside the sacred grove. While critiquing the ways of thinking and knowing of the Eurocentric patriarchal paradigm, these new voices offer insights into black women's communal values and their more spiritual and intuitive ways of viewing the world. Black women's ontological and epistemological assumptions should balance the present-day academy's emphasis on individualism and its reductionistic Western scientific thinking.

Too often, black women's voices have been absent from the literature, particularly in women's studies, black studies, ethnic studies, and multicultural studies. This work should help fill that knowledge void of the intersection of race, gender, class, and ethnicity in the aforementioned areas and in the transdisciplines of anthropology, history, political science, philosophy, psychology, and sociology as well as the general audience.

I am enormously indebted to the contributors who took time from their busy schedules to help fill this knowledge gap. in meeting their deadlines for this work, they juggled competing demands of time, family, and career. For some contributors, it gave them a chance to reflect on their ambiguous status in the academy.

Words cannot express my indebtedness to Frances Howard Hawkins, retired university administrator, for her immeasurable contribution to this project. She played a major role as cheerleader, boosting my spirits throughout this project. She had much faith in the value of such a volume in adding new knowledge to the academy and in contributing to future black women academics. It was at her urging that I undertook this project. in addition to Frances's emotional and . . .

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