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“She Don’t [does not] Belong Here:” Silver Linings amid the Ivory Tower

Diversity and Triumphs of Navigating the Terrain of Academe

ISBN: 978-1-78973-608-3, eISBN: 978-1-78973-607-6

Publication date: 30 May 2019


Microaggressions have gained heightened attention in academic milieus (Solórzano, Ceja, & Yosso, 2000). Originally Pierce (1995) defined microaggressions as “subtle, stunning, and unconscious put-downs of those in inferior status” by a collection of individuals in power (p. 313). Sue (2010) suggests that specific interactions involving race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, class, etc. can be susceptible to a potential racial microaggression.

This chapter will begin with a summary of the rewards and challenges of my doctoral journey. I will share highlighted perspectives from a faculty socio-cultural phenomena perspective. Next, the chapter will explore the phenomenon of monochromatic microaggressions (MM) through the lens of my initial experiences as a new and unknown tenure track Assistant Professor and African American (AA) female.

An additional motif presented in this narrative is a discourse on silent forms of microaggressions and monochromatic microaggressions, both in and out of the classroom (Hendrix, 2007). Monochromatic microaggressions represents hostilities from two distinct, yet combined, groups of individuals at the same time. The term connotes concerted and combined microaggressions and MM associated with the dominant group and horizontal violence perpetuated with oppressed groups. Both groups, identifying from different plateaus, elicit a duality of enmities (e.g., one from underprivilege and the other from privilege).

The intention of this narrative is to write a new future, provide mentoring to those that may be vulnerable to similar experiences and to encourage resilience and broad networking. This chapter presents a personal, transparent, inspirational, but heartfelt narrative.




I am grateful to the host of individuals in academia that have created a culture of support and acknowledgment for us. Perhaps, in their roles they encountered greater challenges, and were punished for less offenses than discussed in this discourse. Thanks to my grandmother who reminded me to cover the little ground I stand on. To my mother and father’s words of comfort encouraging me to pioneer and lead. My dear friend and colleague Pat for listening, editing, and effective mentoring relationship and to Alessandra for your detailed assistance. To my best friend in the entire world and husband – you are my sunshine. The story would not be complete without expressing my gratitude for this opportunity to share my narrative. The end and the beginning […].


Wheeler, E. (2019), "“She Don’t [does not] Belong Here:” Silver Linings amid the Ivory Tower", Diversity and Triumphs of Navigating the Terrain of Academe (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 23), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 121-140.



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