Betwixt Safety and Shielding in the Academy: Confronting Institutional Gendered Racism—Again
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AbstractThis article represents a critical reflection of a Black African American female associate professor who, while teaching a diversity course, unknowingly enabled systems of power and privilege to undermine her faculty role in the course and in the academy. The author revisits a story of this experience and its vestiges using Critical Race Theory (CRT) and an autoethnographic approach. In doing so, she comes to terms with her complicity in supporting White supremacy and patriarchy and reclaims a voice previously suppressed yet still vulnerable in the matrix of institutional power. Two significant shifts are captured in this account--a narrative shift from the individual to one that includes the institutional and a political shift from a position of naiveté to critical consciousness. These shifts, illustrated by the metaphor of safety, reflect the dissonance experienced by he author in seeking to negotiate a balance between the personal, professional, and socialized traditions of academia.