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RIP Jim Crow

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


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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Preface … and a Call to Action



How does one begin to introduce a text that challenges the horrors of racism in higher education? Many are the pauses and tears that these chapters have afforded me as they illuminate the intense cruelties of vestigial slavery. We need to confront every form of fundamentalism and polarization whether their sources be past or present, legislative or religious, or even academic custom. Let us follow in the footsteps of the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malala Yousafazi.

As members of the academy, we are privileged members of diverse heritages and contrasting cultures. Beware that this privilege is the foundation of enduring power, for as we interact with our colleagues and students, we constantly choose whether to fight racism or to let it continue unchecked in our professional communities.

Hidden forms of slavery are rampant within the academy, yet these gravely unjust influences can be overcome through new forms of social awareness and determination. It is impossible to underestimate the difficulty that accompanies the confrontation of such pervasive practices, for slavery and its aftermath are simply manifestations of inequity masquerading as academic freedom and democratic expression. Yet, if we each commit to ridding the academy of the racist scourge, we may succeed in creating a peaceful society in which all of us—our indigenous predecessors, those who were brought to our shores in the agonizing clutches of slavery, and those whose forebears immigrated...

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