Teaching in the Midst of Hatred and Fear

By: Patricia Nunley  

For Black professors teaching in Non-Black spaces, successful navigation of the USA higher education system is not enough to ensure a smooth transition to the position of tenured faculty. In addition to negatively biased professional colleagues and educational peers, African American instructors teaching in the predominantly White institutions (PWI’s) of higher learning that dominate the academic world are faced with students who perceive their phenotypical skin color, racially defined as Black, as something to either hatred based on inherit belief that Black people or inferior and thereby unable to authentically earn the position of college faculty or fear based on non-exposure and embraced indoctrination about African Americans as violent, dangerous people. Interacting with students who either resent/hate you or fear you is a recipe for a poignant teacher: student interactions that negatively impact both the teacher and the student and create unique challenges for Black professors who elect to teach in the USA’s PWI higher education classrooms. This discussion focuses on this dynamic through an examination of the teaching journey of an African American female faculty member that reveals both victories and defeats when phenotypical and cultural differences are manifested in educational environments.

Race, Culture, Hatred, Fear, Differences
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Focused Discussion

Patricia Nunley

faculty , Child Development, City College of San Francisco , United States
United States