The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor

ISBN: 978-1-83867-268-3, eISBN: 978-1-83867-267-6

ISSN: 1479-3644

Publication date: 18 January 2021


(2021), "Prelims", Davis, C.H., Hilton, A., Hamrick, R. and Brooks, F.E. (Ed.) The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 24), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. i-xx.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited.

Half Title Page

The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor

Series Title Page

Diversity in Higher Education

Series Editor: Henry T. Frierson

Recent Volumes:

Volume 1: Mentoring and Diversity in Higher Education – Edited by H T Frierson
Volume 2: Examining Protégé-Mentor Experiences – Edited by H T Frierson
Volume 3: Latinos in Higher Education – Edited by David J León
Volume 4: Beyond Small Numbers: Voices of African American PhD Chemists – Edited by Willie Pearson Jr.
Volume 5: Lessons In Leadership: Executive Leadership Programs For Advancing Diversity In Higher Education – Edited by David J. Leon
Volume 6: Black American Males in Higher Education: Diminishing Proportions – Edited by H. T. Frierson, Willie Pearson, Jr., and James H. Wyche
Volume 7: Black American Males in Higher Education: Research, Programs, and Academe – Edited by H. T. Frierson, James H. Wyche, and Willie Pearson Jr.
Volume 8: Support Systems and Services for Diverse Populations: Considering the Intersection of Race, Gender, and the Needs of Black Female Undergraduates – Edited by Crystal Renée Chambers
Volume 9: Women of Color in Higher Education: Turbulent Past, Promising Future – Edited by Gaetane Jean-Marie and Brenda Lloyd-Jones
Volume 10: Women of Color in Higher Education: Changing Directions and New Perspectives – Edited by Gaetane Jean-Marie and Brenda Lloyd-Jones
Volume 11: Beyond Stock Stories and Folktales: African Americans' Paths to Stem Fields – Edited by Henry T. Frierson and William F. Tate
Volume 12: Black Female Undergraduates on Campus: Successes and Challenges – Edited by Crystal Renée Chambers and Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe
Volume 13: Latino College Presidents: In Their Own Words – Edited by Rubén O. Martinez and David J. León
Volume 14: Seeding Success in Indigenous Australian Higher Education – Edited by Rhonda G. Craven and Janet Mooney
Volume 15: Maori and Pasifika Higher Education Horizons – Edited by Fiona Cram, Hazel Phillips, Pale Sauni, and Clark Tuagalu
Volume 16: Black Males and Intercollegiate Athletics: An Exploration of Problems and Solutions – Edited by Robert A. Bennett III, Samuel R. Hodge, David L. Graham, and James L. Moore III
Volume 17: Infusing Undergraduate Research into Historically Black Colleges and Universities Curricula – Edited by Jeton McClinton, Mark A. Melton, Caesar R. Jackson, and Kimarie Engerman
Volume 18: The Coercive Community College: Bullying and Its Costly Impact on the Mission to Serve Underrepresented Populations – Edited by Leah P. Hollis
Volume 19: The Crisis of Race in Higher Education: A Day of Discovery and Dialog – Edited by William F. Tate IV, Nancy Staudt, and Ashley Macrander
Volume 20: Campus Diversity Triumphs: Valleys of Hope – Edited by Sherwood Thompson
Volume 21: Underserved Populations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: The Pathway to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Edited by Cheron H. Davis, Adriel A. Hilton, and Donavan L. Outten
Volume 22: Broadening Participation in STEM: Effective Education Methods, Practices, and Programs for Women and Minorities – Edited by Zakiya Wilson-Kennedy, Goldie S Byrd, Eugene Kennedy, and Henry T Frierson
Volume 23: Diversity and Triumphs of Navigating the Terrain of Academe: International Perspectives – Edited by Raphael Heaggans and Henry T. Frierson

Title Page

Diversity in Higher Education Volume 24

The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor

Edited by

Cheron H. Davis

Florida A&M University, USA

Adriel Hilton

Seton Hill University, USA

Ricardo Hamrick

Ohio University, USA

F. Erik Brooks

Central State University, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

Copyright © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited

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ISBN: 978-1-83867-268-3 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-83867-267-6 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-83867-269-0 (Epub)

ISSN: 1479-3644 (Series)

About the Editors

Cheron H. Davis, PhD is an Associate Professor of reading education at Florida A&M University's College of Education and Co-Research Director for Florida A&M University Developmental Research School (FAMU DRS) Freedom Schools, a Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® Partner. Dr. Davis's research interests include teacher preparation at historically black colleges and universities, multicultural reading pedagogy, the promotion of equity and justice through literacy, and early literacy intervention techniques. Dr. Davis was named the 20172018 FAMU Innovative Teaching Award winner, the 2018 FAMU Teacher of the Year, and was awarded the Marguerite CogornoRadencich Award for Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading by the Florida Reading Association.

Adriel A. Hilton, PhD is the Dean of Students and Diversity Officer in the Division of Student Affairs at Seton Hill University. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from Morgan State University. He has held positions at Webster University, Grambling State University, Western Carolina University, Grand Valley State University, and Upper Iowa University. He has written extensively on the impact of diversity, affirmative action programs, and the persistence of minorities in higher education.

Ricardo Hamrick is Resident Director within the Office of Housing and Residence Life in the Division of Student Affairs at Ohio University, USA. He is a graduate student attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was formerly employed at Seton Hill University as a resident director within the Office of Residential Life in the Division of Student Affairs.

F. Erik Brooks, PhD is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Central State University. Most recently, he served as professor and associate director of the Centennial Honors College at Western Illinois University. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University's L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. He has written extensively on public administration, American politics, and Black history.

About the Contributors

William Broussard, PhD is a higher education executive, professor, and scholar with 20 years of experience at seven institutions. In his career, he has secured over $20 million in private donations, grants, corporate sponsorships, and revenue generation. He graduated from the Louisiana Scholars College, with distinction, in 2000, and then went on to earn his master's degree and doctorate in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of the English Language from the University of Arizona in 2007. Broussard was a two-time all-American student athlete (football) and is enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame as a National Football Foundation Fellow and Scholar-Athlete, and went on to earn research fellowships from the NCAA, University of Arizona, National Football Foundation, Louisiana Tobacco-Free Schools, and the Black Coaches Association.

A published scholar on institutional advancement, American-organized sport culture, composition theory, and HBCU executive leadership, he has published over six dozen articles, essays, and chapters and made over four dozen regional and national conference and keynote presentations. In addition to his scholarly work, his articles have appeared in HBCU Digest, Diverse, Athletic Administration, and Education Dive.

Dominic Burrows, MS is a graduate of FAMU with both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Psychology. Hailing from the crystal seas of Nassau, Bahamas, Dominic was discovering his passion for helping others early in life. As a survivor of domestic violence, Dominic focused his research on how domestic violence affected minority communities specifically pertaining to African Americans. Currently, Dominic continues to work with thesis committee to publish his research. He also is employed as a case manager in Georgia where he is using tools he learned in his master's program and applying them to consumers mental health needs. His future goals include attending Georgia State University's Clinical-Community Psychology program and earning his PhD to continue his research around domestic violence.

Altheria Caldera, PhD is a teacher educator and qualitative researcher concerned with issues of educational equity and social justice. Her ultimate aim is to improve the academic outcomes of minoritized students by helping teachers become more adept at anti-racist and culturally sustaining pedagogies. She believes that race is the primary determinant of children's experiences in schools but strongly advocates for examinations of the ways in which racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, and classism are interconnected. To that end, she interrogates how race and language, race and gender, and race and class impact the schooling of students of color. Dr. Caldera is a curriculum theorist whose book, Woke Pedagogy, is expected in early 2021.

C. Dean Campbell, EdD has served as Assistant Dean for Academic Services in The Graduate College at North Carolina A&T State University (NCAT) since 2012. He participates in leadership and management of the unit with a focus on developing strategic direction and managing the implementation of admission and enrollment activities to meet strategic services provided to students throughout their matriculation. Campbell is a member of the graduate faculty and teaches as an adjunct instructor in the NCAT School of Education's Adult Education master's program. He earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Yale University, master's degree in Higher Education Administration and Student Development from Boston College, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California.

Arie Christon, MS earned a Master of Science Degree in Community Psychology with an emphasis on Black Psychology and Multicultural Mental Health from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU). He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, with a minor in Business from FAMU. Arie has previous grantsmanship experience where he has secured funds and completed work on community-based interventions and education on medical marijuana. Mr. Christon has completed research presentations at regional and national conferences; in addition, he has completed several national, competitive research, and professional development fellowships. Mr. Christon's thesis entitled “Internalized oppression, misorientation, and performance modifiers: The factors that influence ethnic student learning outcomes” captures some of his research interests. He currently practices counseling psychology in Georgia, where he works toward licensure. Mr. Christon plans to earn a PhD and to move forward in opening a mental wellness/optimal development center.

Levon Esters, PhD is a Professor in the Department Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication at Purdue University. Levon serves as the Director of the Mentoring@Purdue (M@P) program which is designed to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities (URMs) receiving advanced post-secondary STEM-based agricultural and life sciences degrees in Purdue’s College of Agriculture. Levon also serves as a Senior Research Associate at The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions. Levon is a nationally recognized scholar on mentoring, equity, and diversity within the STEM-based agricultural and life sciences disciplines. His research focuses on issues of educational equity and access of URM students with a concentration on the mentoring of Black graduate students; STEM career development of students attending Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities; and educational and professional mobility of Black graduate students and faculty. Levon is among a few Black scholars in the United States conducting research in these areas, and has been able to serve as a role model for Black graduate students who are committed to broadening participation of URMs in the Ag+STEM disciplines. In 2019, Dr. Esters was recognized as the Faculty Mentor of Year by the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring (Sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board).

Cassidy Ferguson, MS is an alumna of Florida A&M University earning her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Master's of Science degree in Community Psychology. Ms. Ferguson recently was chosen among 12 other counselors to receive a certification focused on Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. She has obtained her Associates Professional Counselor License, as she actively works in counseling and strives toward earning her PhD in Counseling Psychology.

Marybeth Gasman, PhD is the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair in Education and a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University. She serves as the Executive Director of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice and the Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions. Before joining the faculty at Rutgers, Marybeth was the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Endowed Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, Marybeth also served as the founding director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Her areas of expertise include the history of American higher education, Minority Serving Institutions (with an emphasis on Historically Black Colleges and Universities), racism and diversity, fundraising and philanthropy, and higher education leadership. She is the author or editor of 25 books, including Educating a Diverse Nation (Harvard University Press, 2015 with Clif Conrad), Envisioning Black Colleges (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), and her newest book Making Black Scientists (Harvard University Press, 2019 with Thai-Huy Nguyen). Marybeth has written over 250 peer-reviewed articles, scholarly essays, and book chapters. She has penned over 450 opinion articles for the nation's newspapers and magazines and is ranked by Education Week as one of the 10 most influential education scholars in the nation. Marybeth has raised over $23 million in grant funding to support her research and that of her students, mentees, and MSI partners. Marybeth serves on the board of trustees of The College Board as well as Paul Quinn College, a small, urban, historically Black College in Dallas, Texas. She considers her proudest accomplishment to be receiving the University of Pennsylvania's Provost Award for Distinguished PhD. Teaching and Mentoring, serving as the dissertation chair for over 80 doctoral students since 2000.

Erin Wiggins Gilliam, PhD is an associate professor of History at Kentucky State University. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in American History specializing in African American and Southern History from the University of Kentucky. Her dissertation focused on the rich history of black education and historically black colleges in Kentucky. This research has catapulted her invested interest in discovering and revealing the rich historical contribution of African Americans and their contribution throughout the Commonwealth. As an educator and advocate, it is my goal to ensure that the African-American perspective is included in the narrative and helps to address societal issues of race and class.

C. Douglas Johnson, PhD leverages his educational, applied, and lived experiences to facilitate active learning geared to enhance personal and professional development. Equipped with degrees (and practice) in accounting, human resources, and industrial/organizational psychology, Dr. Doug engages in competency development with students and serves in the community to affect the quality of life for its citizenry through educational leadership development efforts. He strives to inspire social action and transformation, while serving as a voice for those living in the shadows of society. He is an active community leader serving/served in roles and on boards of organizations whose missions align with his objectives (e.g., Leadership Gwinnett, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Gwinnett Community Foundation, Collins Hill High School (CHHS) Local School Council, CHHS Orchestra Booster Association, Gwinnett County Public Schools Community-Based Mentoring Program, Family Promise of Gwinnett, Lawrenceville-Duluth Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated). He is committed to the development of the next generation of leaders as evidenced by his work as a Professor of Leadership and Management at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), his research, mentoring, volunteerism, and being an active father. He has received recognition for his achievements in research, student engagement, service, and teaching, having previously been named GGC's Teacher of the Year.

Carlos J. Minor, EdD currently serves as a middle school guidance counselor in Metro Atlanta. He holds a bachelor's degree from Xavier University, a master's and an educational doctorate from Clark Atlanta University.

Robert T. Palmer, PhD is chair and associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education at Howard University. He is also a faculty affiliate for the Center of Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) at Rutgers University. His research examines issues of access, equity, retention, persistence, and the college experience of racial and ethnic minorities, particularly within the context of historically Black colleges and universities. Dr. Palmer's work has been published in leading journals in higher education, such as The Journal of College Student Development, Teachers College Record, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Journal of Negro Education, College Student Affairs Journal, Journal of College Student Retention, The Negro Educational Review, and Journal of Black Studies, among others. Since earning his PhD in 2007, Dr. Palmer has authored/co-authored well over 125 academic publications.

Rochelle Parrish, MS earned a Master's of Science degree in Community Psychology from FAMU. She is interested in research about race, self-concepts, psychological adjustment, and mental health as it relates specifically to the African-American population. Rochelle intends to use her research to come up with solutions to eliminate inequalities across all context and socio-economic statuses. Her Master's research entitled “Examining the Impacts of Psychosocial and Non-cognitive (i.e., student-faculty interaction and perceive faculty support; outcome expectations; and self-concepts) factors on, and as potential predictors of educational outcomes” highlights some of her research aims. She is currently a part of a research group studying “Self-Efficacy, Grit, and Mental Wellness,” practices mental counseling, and strives to obtain her PhD in psychology.

Angelique Reed earned a Bachelor of Science in History with a minor in education from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. After graduating, she joined the Teach for America Organization where she was a teacher who was focused on expanding opportunities for the kids in her classroom. After seeing the need for these kids in these classrooms, she returned to FAMU to pursue her Master's degree in Community Psychology. Her numerous roles include teacher, community organizer, panel participant, researcher, graduate research assistant, teaching assistant, and departmental assistant. Her research interests encompass student self-concepts, identity, and the relationships of psychosocial factors that influence psychopathology with a focus on cultural implications.

Alishea Rowley, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator in the Counselor Education program, Department of Education Leadership and Counseling at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She earned a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from North Carolina State University, a Master of Science in Counselor Education with an emphasis in School Counseling from the University of Central Florida and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Secondary Education from Florida A&M University. Dr. Rowley has a certification in Guidance and School Counseling in Florida and Georgia. She is committed to training a diverse group of counselors to be multiculturally competent and committed to social justice and advocacy. Dr. Rowley is a qualitative researcher with a focus on racial and feminist identify development in African American women and mental health issues in multicultural communities.

Erica R. Russell, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at Norfolk State University. She obtained her graduate and terminal degrees from Howard University in Counseling Psychology with a subspecialty in clinical child and family work. As an undergraduate, she majored in Psychology and minored in African-American Studies and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University. Before her work in higher education, she enjoyed a diversity of professional experiences in varied settings (i.e., community agency, practice, and school). Currently, Dr. Russell teaches African-American Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Careers in Psychology at her second HBCU. She serves as a faculty advisor and mentor to undergraduate psychology students and integrates her passion for mentorship, mental health awareness, and culturally relevant pedagogy into the delivery of her FACE IT Initiative.

Renee Simms, JD is an associate professor of African-American Studies and contributing faculty to English Studies at University of Puget Sound. She also teaches fiction and nonfiction in the Rainier Writing Workshop, the MFA creative writing program at Pacific Lutheran University. Renee's research interests include black women's fiction, black feminist theory, community writing pedagogies, and the intersections of law and literature. She is a recipient of a NEA creative writing fellowship, as well as fellowships from Ragdale, Bread Loaf, and Vermont Studio Center. Her debut story collection, Meet Behind Mars, was a Foreword Indies Finalist for Short Stories, and was listed by The Root as one of 28 brilliant books by black authors in 2018.

Novell E. Tani, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU). He earned his BS in Psychology and Master's degree in Applied Social Sciences, with an emphasis on History, from FAMU. He holds an MS and PhD in Development Psychology from the Florida State University (FSU). His research interests include teacher perceptions, teacher-student interactions, students' self-concept/self-efficacies, micro- and macro-level factors that impact academic success. Dr. Tani has worked in various higher education settings before coming to FAMU. He has been awarded graduate directive status within FAMU's College of Sciences, Arts, and Humanities. As a faculty member within the Department of Psychology, he aids in the mentorship of undergraduate and graduate student research/theses surrounding the academic development of students of color.

Ronald W. Whitaker, II, EdD is the Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Assistant Professor of Education at Cabrini University. In this role, he is intentional about incorporating culturally responsive tenets into Cabrini's undergraduate and graduate educational programs. At Cabrini, he also serves as the Assistant Dean in the School of Education, Director of District and School Relations, and the Director for the Center for Urban Education, Equity, and Improvement (CUEEI). His research interests include integrating culturally responsive pedagogy into higher education teacher education and educational leadership programs, culturally responsive programming and practices for African-American males, the psychology of racism and white supremacy, genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within organizations, intercollegiate athletics, and integrating Black Church spirituality and theology into African-American education discourse.

Janelle L. Williams, PhD is the Associate Dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies at Widener University and a Visiting Scholar in the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. As a researcher and practitioner, Dr. Williams's scholarship investigates college choice and enrollment patterns at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), contemporary approaches to address challenges facing HBCU enrollment, and the experiences of Black women in higher education through critical qualitative inquiry. Her most recent work explores the factors that influence the enrollment of Black undergraduates who chose to attend HBCUs and has been highlighted by the Center for Minority Serving Institutions, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, MSIs Unplugged, The HBCU Times, The New York Times and LA Times. In addition, Dr. Williams has been an invited panelist and presenter discussing topics relating to her research at national and international conferences. A first-generation college student, Dr. Williams, is a proud graduate of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, America's oldest HBCU.

Steven C. Williams II, MS earned a Master of Science Degree in Community Psychology, with an emphasis on Black Psychology and Multicultural Mental Health from FAMU. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, with a minor in Business from FAMU. Previously, Steven has worked for Fortune 500 companies where he held several analytical positions in the finance sector while supporting the goals of company shareholders. Mr. Williams' research focus is on financial literacy, capital identity, academic performance, and micro- and macro-level factors that influence socio-economic status. His plans include earning a PhD where Steven will conduct in research that will continue to empower underserved communities in Economics and Psychology.


In 2020, a mere 6% of college and university faculty across the United States were African American. This percentage is not growing for a number of reasons, but the most salient reason is systemic racism. Racism takes place within colleges and universities in graduate and undergraduate admissions, in faculty hiring, and in the day-to-day operations of college campuses in the form of micro- and macro-aggressions toward African Americans. The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor offers the perspectives, research, stories, triumphs, and challenges of a wide cross-section of African- American faculty. The book serves as both a mirror to the academy as well as a place of solace and motivation for future African-American faculty. Although the various authors detail the trails they have been through and the racism—both systemic and personal—they remain hopeful and most of all, supportive of those who follow in their footsteps. They demonstrate the ways that they navigate minefields and provide a roadmap for new scholars.

Under the editorial leadership of Cheron Davis, Adriel Hilton, Erik Brooks, and Ricardo Hamrick, the authors in this book explore issues relating to high-faculty turnover rates, the pursuit of tenure, discrimination and racism, gender, the Historically Black College and University environment, adjunct faculty, mentoring, learning, and research. Although these are issues that other books explore, one of the unique aspects of this edited volume is that each chapter is written with an African-American voice. These voices carry and represent the very personal and passionate experiences of a diverse group of African Americans and are bolstered by evidence and original research.

One of my favorite aspects of The Beauty and the Burden of Being a Black Professor is the way that the authors weave personal experience, dialog, narrative, and reflection together with rigorous qualitative methods. They also understand that context is essential to understanding the experiences of faculty. They challenge our notions of both Predominantly White Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. All too often in higher education research and especially research related to faculty roles and experiences, the voices of faculty are left out and numbers are left to representing them.

I was also struck by the inclusion and voice of Black women as they explain how they navigate the professoriate. They are intent on helping other Black women and ensuring that new scholars understand the need to support one another and that much motivation and success can come from the relationships with other Black women and the community that these relationships provide.

Although this edited collection can be heartbreaking and difficult to read at times—because of many and profound examples of personal and systemic racism—it is vitally important and needed, especially in the current context of academe. Unfortunately, far too many White colleagues are focused on diversity and inclusion, but they ignore the essential task of dismantling the systems that reinforce racism for their Black colleagues. I am hopeful that reading this book will get under my White colleagues' skin in ways that will move them to make change at the same time that it empowers my African-American colleagues.

It's an honor to read this collection and I hope that all those reading it will be inspired to support one another, dismantle systems that hurt others in full daylight and in the dark, and respect the contributions of African Americans to academe.

Marybeth Gasman

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair in Education & Distinguished Professor

Rutgers University