Presenting While Black: African American Speakers Face Challenges at Conferences
Filed in Research & Studies on August 17, 2015
A new study by Ebony O. McGee of the College of Education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Lasana Kazembe of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, examines the experiences of Black faculty members who give presentations at academic conferences.
Thirty-three Black professors were interviewed about their participation in a number of presentation contexts, including national conferences, symposia, and campus job talks. Participants in the study reported encountering multiple layers of racial stereotyping and bias. They also related how their racial awareness enabled them to develop strategic coping mechanisms to manage audience reactions.
The authors stated that “by examining Black faculty members’ struggles to be valued personally and professionally in White-dominated academic sites, the study findings can enrich critical interpretations of racism in higher education.”
Ebony McGee is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, where she majored in electrical engineering. She earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark and a doctorate in mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Lasana Kazembe holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The study, “Entertainers or Education Researchers? The Challenges Associated With Presenting While Black,” was published in the journal Race, Ethnicity, and Education. It may be accessed here.