Denial of Tenure to Black Scholars Provokes Student Protests on Two Campuses

George White Jr., a black assistant professor of history and African studies at the University of Tennessee, has filed a race discrimination lawsuit against the Knoxville institution. Professor White claims that he was denied tenure because of his race. The suit asserts that the tenure committee dismissed the scholarly value of his published book — Holding the Line: Race, Racism, and American Foreign Policy Toward Africa, 1953-1961 — because it was based on critical race theory. Students protested on campus when the professor did not obtain tenure. Professor White is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a Ph.D. from Temple University.

Blacks now make up 3.6 percent of the full-time faculty at the University of Tennessee.

At Washington University in St. Louis, students protested the denial of tenure to Leslie Brown, an assistant professor of history and African-American studies. Brown has been the only African American in the history department at the university for the past two years. Professor Brown is a graduate of Tufts University and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Duke University.