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RIP Jim Crow

Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions

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Edited By Virginia Stead

Together we can build enough momentum to see Jim Crow lying silent and still in his grave.
This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.
RIP Jim Crow contains three sections: (1) Antiracist Theory and Policy; (2) Antiracist Administration, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; and (3) Antiracist Cultural Interventions.
Each of the 31 chapters contributes to the normalization of anti-racist policy within academic institutions, antiracist discourse within academic cultures, and institutional praxis that upholds speaking out against racist activity. The hope is that this book will also reduce racism in the broader world through academic relationships with community partners.
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Chapter Two: Who’s Afraid of the Black Male Scholar? A Voice from Within the Walls of Academia

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CHAPTER TWO

Who’s Afraid OF THE Black Male Scholar?

A Voice from Within the Walls of Academia

MARK CHRISTIAN



Let justice roll down like the waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

—DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (CITED IN WASHINGTON, 1986, P. 659)

INTRODUCTION

The Black male scholar confronting isolation and the glass ceiling in higher education settings appears to be a commonplace reality, given the proliferation of studies. Yet, it is difficult to actually describe or articulate the “personal experience” when one is both employed and bound to the foibles of vindictiveness and power games within a given college or university setting, where the notion of “academic freedom of expression” is not upheld as well as it should be. Moreover, it is contended here that if one “stands” philosophically in the academic area of Africana/Black Studies, the complexities of isolation and discrimination are more intense for the person of color. Overall, there is something tangible about being a “Black male professor” that induces both fear and insecurity in many White counterparts, both male and female (Christian, 2012; Jones, 2000).

Let me begin with a caveat for the reader: This is not a victim’s tale. I am in every sense a successful, tenured/full professor living and working in New York City. Throughout my academic career I have received awards for my teaching ability, and published consistently in scholarly journals, in mainstream academic...

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