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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 Five: Absence of Color: How Higher Education Preparation Programs Are Sustaining Racism

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CHAPTER FIVE

Absence OF Color

How Higher Education Preparation Programs Are Sustaining Racism

AMBRA L. GREEN, JENNIFER M. MCKENZIE, AND CHAD A. ROSE



There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are probably very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me—at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.

—PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (JULY 19, 2013)

INTRODUCTION

In history as far back as the 19th and 20th centuries, stereotypes of Blacks as deviant and dangerous have continued to create injustice resulting in severe, and sometimes deadly, consequences in the lives of Black youth (Carter, Skiba, Arredondo and Pollock, 2014). The American educational system functions much like, and sometimes in response to, society. Therefore, when society is experiencing escalated racism and responding to racial tension, so are preschool through twelfth grade schools (Bowman, Merriweather, & Closson, 2014). The idea of an overpowering and threatening individual is perhaps the most deeply rooted and pertinent issue in terms...

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