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The Spook Who Sat by the Ivory Tower: A Critical Race Theory Narrative of a Black Man's Tenure-track Journey within the Academy

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

Abstract

The Spook Who Sat by the Door is a cult-classic early-70s film, based on the 1969 novel by Sam Greenlee. The film deals with issues of inauthentic diversity initiatives, tokenism, and Black Nationalism. In the same manner, this chapter uses themes from the film and novel to disclose how the author navigates pseudo diversity initiatives within higher education and his experiences of being viewed as an exemplar Black male (token) by colleagues, while simultaneously remaining committed to his explicit research focus pertaining to exemplar practices and programming for Black boys and men. Theoretically, the author intersects tenets of Critical Race Theory into his essay (Delgado & Stefancic, 1993, 1994; Tate, 1997). While the author does not advocate for physical violence (as depicted in the film), he is using the training received in academia to declare war on the pernicious educational system that continues to intentionally mis-educate (Woodson, 1933), Black boys and men.

Citation

Whitaker, R. (2021), "The Spook Who Sat by the Ivory Tower: A Critical Race Theory Narrative of a Black Man's Tenure-track Journey within the Academy", 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. 23-36. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-364420210000024004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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