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

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

Rich, Black Folk

340 acres of freshly cut grass. 10,000 square foot mansion. Prep schools and carpool. Luxury cars on every street. Are you thinking the people that live in this community are rich? Do you think they’re white? So do I. However, rich, black people do exist and are even are part of the 1%. But, it’s a very lonely few. In 2013, to be considered part of the 1%, it requires a household net worth of ~$7.9 million. Only 1.7% of those who make that requirement are black. But, does this privilege of wealth give African-Americans equal opportunities in the job … Read more

Accusations of Reverse Racism on Hamilton: An American Musical

After taking home a record-setting 11 victories at the 2016 Tony’s, performing for the president at the White House multiple times, and selling tickets for record-breaking prices, there is no arguing that the success of the Broadway musical phenomena, Hamilton, has been revolutionary in its own right. However, these accomplishments have not come without controversy. Earlier this year, a casting call for Hamilton was released on social media, indicating that the producers were “Seeking NON-WHITE men and women…for Broadway and upcoming Tours.” This word choice received harsh criticism and accusations of “reverse racism” from those both inside and outside of … Read more

The Complications of Hard Work and Privilege

Something that has been on my mind recently is the idea of the myth of meritocracy. The myth of meritocracy is the popular American notion that if you work hard you will succeed. This myth, however, does not take into account the fact that it is easier for some people to succeed over others because of privileges they have in terms of their social identities. I struggled making sense of this concept at first for personal reasons. My dad is an example of someone who has had to work immensely hard to get where he is today. As a child, … Read more

Checking the Box

Many job and college applications include a question that reads something like, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” While this may seem like a simple question, used to filter out people who have committed crimes, it actually has huge racial implications and is therefore a very problematic question to have on an application. Whether companies and colleges realize it or not, this question traces back to laws in the criminal justice system that are made to purposely keep White people at the type of the hierarchy. In her chapter on mass incarceration, Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow; … Read more