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Being Black in the Ivory: Truth-Telling about Racism in Higher Education

University of North Carolina Press9781469678269

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When Sharde M. Davis turned to social media during the summer of racial reckoning in 2020, she meant only to share how racism against Black people affects her personally. But her hashtag, #blackintheivory, went viral, fostering a flood of Black scholars sharing similar stories. Soon the posts were being quoted during summer institutes and workshops on social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. And in fall 2020, faculty assigned the tweets as material for course curriculum.

This curated collection of original personal narratives from Black scholars across the country seeks to continue the conversation that started with BlackintheIvory. Put together, the stories reveal how racism eats its way through higher education, how academia systemically ejects Black scholars in overt and covert ways, and how academic institutions—and their individual members—might make lasting change. While anti-Black racism in academia is a behemoth with many entry points to the conversation, this book marshals a diverse group of Black voices to bring to light what for too long has been hidden in the shadow of the ivory tower.