Being a Black Academic in America

What does it mean to be hypervisible and hyper-invisible at the same time? A recent article in The Chronicle Review details the lives and narratives of several black academics and scholars in America. The article and the outpouring of stories comes after a scandal was revealed involving rich white people bribing many people to get their children accepted into rich white institutions in the country. In an attempt to make space for the voices usually seen as diversity quotas, or affirmative action recipients (by similar white people involved in this scandal), The Chronicle Review asked black academics to speak to … Read more

Thriving or Surviving: A Discussion on Black Student Success in PWIs

Black students in predominantly white institutions are, often, discussed in literature as objects of struggle amongst their white counterparts. Their experiences are reduced to micro-aggressions, theories of assimilation, and conflict avoidance, just to name a few. While all of these elements play a role in the minority experience within a PWI, they should not be the only lenses through which black students’ narratives are analyzed. Many black students within predominantly white institutions are excelling on their campuses; whether it is the captain of a team, a research assistant, resident advisor, or the coordinator of a volunteer group, these students are … Read more

Just an Average Model Minority

The model minority emphasizes that Asian Americans are more academically successful than other racial groups. This is dependent on their hard work and individual effort (Atkin et al., 2018). We tend to see Asians being good at math and science, over all excelling academically. Due to the racial discrimination associated with Asian/Asian American, those who identify as Asian/Asian America are much more susceptible to negative health outcomes such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc (Narra & Li, 2018). It is important to analyze the way Asian Americans interpret the model minority myth and the academic setting they are in. Those … Read more

Hidden Labour: The Role of Faculty of Color at PWI’s

Representation Matters, even on college campuses! Students of color (SOC) often seek solace within the four walls of their professor’s (of color) offices. Those spaces quickly become safe spaces for these students, as they feel confident in the fact that their feelings will be heard, understood and respected by members of staff who can personally relate to their experiences. While in one of these safe spaces provided by a Faculty of Color (FOC) on Muhlenberg’s Campus, I brought up this topic and learned that the importance of SOC and FOC relationships is recognized by Faculty of Color, sometimes leading to … Read more

Multiracial Marginalization

In recent years, the number of multiracial students as increased drastically. Since the year 2000, the number of people who identify as mixed-race has grown by 35 percent, according the Census Bureau (Saulny, 2011). However, on many college campuses, it seems as though their existence is quite unknown. There are multicultural affinity groups for those identify as Black, Asian, and Latina. It has been shown in research that a fairly common theme to pop-up for this population of students who identify as mixed race is for them to monoracialized, or for one or more of their identities to be lost … Read more

Minority Spotlights the Minority Spotlight

The minority spotlight effect is something that might seem minute and insignificant in the moment, but it can be frustrating for students of color and internalized differently by them as well. I heard about an incident in a class with a faculty member of color where the class consistently tackled social issues, broaching topics including gender, race, and sexuality. The teacher would consistently look to students of color in hopes that they would chime in when it was relevant to them, sometimes even explicitly calling on them. The professor would also talk about trans rights and spotlight the one trans … Read more

So What is Affirmative Action?

Affirmative action was created as an effort to improve employment and educational opportunities for members of minority groups, and it was an outcome of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. President Kennedy was the first to use the term in an Executive Order that directed government contractors to take “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin”. In 1965, however, only five percent of undergraduate students were African American. As a result, President Lyndon Johnson signed an Executive Order in 1965 that required government … Read more