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Black Women Speaking From Within

Essays and Experiences in Higher Education

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Edited By Kelly K. Hope

In Black Women Speaking From Within: Essays and Experiences in Higher Education, contributors use intersectional and interdisciplinary lenses to share the ways in which they understand, navigate, resist, and transform student services, learning, teaching, and existing in the academy. This book explores and discusses the following question: How do Black women experience and perceive place and agency in higher education? Black Women Speaking From Within draws upon the influence organizational culture, sense-making, and sisterhood has on praxis and pedagogy and places the Black woman’s stories and experiences at the center of the conversation.

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Chapter 9: Who in the Hell Left the Gate Open (Kelly K. Hope)

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Chapter 9: Who in the Hell Left the Gate Open

BY KELLY K. HOPE1

On March 15, 2016, I took to social media to declare in a public service announcement to higher education that I a Black woman educator was not leaving the academy. The message posted decreed:

PSA: Higher Education, I am an EDUCATED BLACK WOMAN, AND I AM HERE TO STAY! Gatekeepers, I am here to rattle your gates!

I am truly baffled, but not surprised, at the double standards and microaggressions academic gatekeepers impose on BLACK and BROWN WOMEN. I am still grappling with the suggestion that I go back to school and earn a second Master’s Degree in English, and “shadow” a professor in order to obtain an adjunct position. The expectation that a Black woman who has earned a B.S. and M.S. in English Education, college teaching experience, and is a current doctoral candidate, “shadow” a professor in order to obtain an adjunct teaching position at a Community College, and obtain a second Masters in the SAME discipline is a farce. These recommendations might be more palatable if they were the same for black, white, brown, and everyone in between.

But most know racial, and gender double standards exist. Perhaps, if I wasn’t aware of the countless women and men of European descent who were able to secure positions in the same department, with the same M.S. credentialing; from...

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