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My African-American History Professor is White

Attending a Historically Black University has been one of my best decisions I have ever made. There is something great about watching your peers strive for greatness while being at odds. There is something amazing about walking down the Promenade and seeing black women and men striding with purpose. Most importantly, there is something powerful about getting an education from professors of color. For most of my life, I had been taught by white men and women. They did not speak into my life or really look out for me in any aspect. They did not genuinely care about me. Their failed attempts to teach me little specks of my history upset me. When they did talk about my history they sugar coated it and left it in its simplest form. While I understand that not all professors are the same and it is wrong to generalize, I just want to note this is my personal experience.

My first day of my Junior year, I walked into my African-American History Class and to my surprise, my professor was a white man. Now, I could easily drop this class and move on with my life but this is all apart of my process. Plus, the hassle of dropping and adding classes is obnoxious. I sat down and looked to my friend to confirm that he was the professor. Indeed he was the professor and it began to spark so many thoughts. This topic is very debatable and everyone had the right to their opinion.

I had to really reflect on why I felt so strongly against this. There is nothing wrong with learning from white people and I am all about inclusivity. Furthermore, I respect the fact that he spent his life learning about the truth of this nation. I applaud him for being conscious of my history, but personally I find it immensely audacious for him to teach African-American History at an HBCU.

I was offered another opinion that, again, I had to reflect on. How do white people feel to have an African-American Woman teach American History at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). To begin, African-Americans are a VERY prominent factor in the rising of America so for a Black Person to teach it makes sense. For 400+ years, we had to watch the world move on without us and against us. Therefore, we are knowledgeable about what happened and have no reason to sugar coat pure facts. Secondly, she would be teaching at a PWI which most likely means that altough it is predominately white, it does not mean it is catered to solely white people.

At fault is my HBCU for finding it acceptable to hire a white man to teach our history.

I go to a Historically Black University to learn from my people while being around my people. There is no law or restriction against hiring races outside of African Americans, but to have a white man teach African-American History at an HBCU is backwards. There is no way a white man could begin to understand or relate to my history. To me, it takes away from the intimacy that HBCUs offer.

Also at fault is US. We need more black historians. There is a gap. When we lose touch with our roots, we give others the ability to rewrite our history. We have these universities and colleges that give us the ability to speak freely among each other and we fail to take advantage of it.


This topic is very debatable and I am open to discussion! We all have our preferences in how we like to learn and that is OKAY! Let's talk! Leave a comment below


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