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Reclaiming Our Time: A 21st Century Response to Banks' Afro-American Scholars in the University

Wednesday, September 19, 2018,

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  • Location: Vanderbilt Kennedy Center • 110 Magnolia Circle • Nashville, TN 37203
  • Room: 241

  William Banks’ 1984 article “Afro-American Scholars in the University” situated Black faculty at predominantly White institutions in a milieu noting the uses and misuses of Black scholars, constituencies in conflict, the range of responses from Black scholars, and the standards and realities for their advancement in academia. Banks further discussed the stigma of affirmative action and the burden of symbolism for Black faculty.

This discussion, during the #BlackLivesMatter and Trump era, engages with the same questions that Banks raised 34 years prior. This response is centered through an analysis of community engagement experiences, the burdens of cultural taxation, and the impact of affirmative action in a post-Fisher political context for scholars in educational leadership. Incorporating events both inside and outside of academia, I considered the centrality of creating spaces of resistance and leveraging the gains for Black academics over the past three decades to alter the standards of the academy to support Black scholars and their allies.