Academic journal article Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

Must We Deploy Drones in the Twenty-First Century to Target under the Radar Discrimination against Minority Women at Law Schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)?

Academic journal article Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

Must We Deploy Drones in the Twenty-First Century to Target under the Radar Discrimination against Minority Women at Law Schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)?

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

This Article is a result of the authors' participation in the Association of American Law School's Crosscutting Program ("The More Things Change ... : Exploring Solutions to Persisting Discrimination in Legal Academia") at the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in January 2015.

   Th[e] Program dr[ew] from empirical data, legal research,
   litigation strategy, and personal experience to both further
   conversations about the persistence of discrimination in the legal
   academy and activate strategies for addressing ongoing structural
   and individual barriers. Intersectional bias compounds many of
   these challenges, which range from the discriminatory actions of
   colleagues and students, to the marginalization of particular
   subject areas in the curriculum, to structural hierarchies in the
   profession [at HBCUs generally, and more specifically at HBCU law
   schools]. (1)

"Surely one of the most striking features [also observed by the authors] of human dynamics is the alacrity with which those who have been oppressed will oppress whomever they can once the opportunity presents itself." (2) This Article examines several major issues that persist for Black female faculty generally, but more specifically at HBCUs. Nevertheless, examples have been extracted from a cross-section of female faculty members who have encountered similar instances of discrimination or discriminatory practices against female colleagues.

After the Introduction, Part I offers an overview of the history/evolutions of HBCUs. Part II analyzes analogous systems, which operate similarly to and influence historically black colleges and universities. Part III develops the concept of women pretexting authority ("WPA"). Part IV discusses legitimate processes and mechanisms to address infractions at HBCUs after female faculty complain. Part V proposes recommendations to address the persisting problem, until a conclusion is finally reached in Part VI based on the arguments set forth in the analysis.

I. History and Evolution of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Law Schools

Founded in the 1800s, the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities--HBCUs--have the mission of providing access to higher education for society's underprivileged and disenfranchised. (3) In an effort to assist with the education of newly freed slaves in the post-Civil War era, the federal government created HBCUs. (4) The purpose was to help newly freed slaves gain employment through an industrial education rather than provide knowledge, which was the primary purpose of predominately white institutions ("PWIs"). (5)

A. Private and Public

There are 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America, and all have contributed to the nation's growth. (6) Forty HBCUs are four-year public institutions and forty-nine are private; there are eleven two-year public institutions and five two-year private institutions. (7)

B. The Six Law Schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The authors hail from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, one of six HBCU law schools. David A. Clark School of Law, University of the District of Columbia, Florida A&M University School of Law, Howard University School of Law, North Carolina Central University, and Southern University Law Center complete the list. (8)

The emergence of these institutions afforded Blacks the chance to attend law schools and become successful practitioners. (9) Although Black women entered the legal profession as a result of the Black law school movement, the women pioneer graduates of these law schools, unlike their male colleagues, did not gain notoriety. (10) Thurgood Marshall was one of the Black legal practitioners who received notoriety." As a result of his many contributions to the Civil Rights movement and to the plight of Blacks and other minorities, Texas Southern University asked if Marshall would endorse its law school and allow it to bear his name. …

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