Dr. Sylvia Hood Washington
So many gifted black people identified as such before affirmative action was even a notion have been denied the “equal” opportunity to achieve or advance because they were perceived as either a threat or not needy enough. This is particularly true in institutions of higher education … where the only faculty of African American descent are relegated to Africana studies departments (aka the black belt). Taking nothing away from these folks…it is sad to know that many many black PhD scientists and scholars who chose to study outside of the “black belt” of academia were and still are denied positions in the academy. It is a painful and enduring myth that there are not enough black folks in the sciences/mathematics/engineering. We exist but many of us have been told that if we are hired we would make students and colleagues uncomfortable. This is also true in the real world…but to not to such a glaring extent where productive outcomes tend to weigh in on hiring and promotion.