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To Chair or Not to Chair: Liberal Racism in the Hallowed Halls of Academia

Nkiru Nzegwu


This qualitative study of a significant event in the life of one immigrant African woman professor is emblematic of the types of employment challenges immigrant women of color face in universities. It sheds light on the concealed rarely discussed areas of intersectional racial and gender discrimination in institutions of higher learning. The focus is on how immigrant African women academics in the United States respond to the politics of white supremacy and navigate the political minefield of institutional racism in departments. How do they respond to the racism that prevails in departments? What do they do to survive the subtle yet brutal psychological attacks of racism? For those who fight back, what is their rationale for doing so and what are their combat strategies? Do support structures exist either within or outside their departments or universities?


intersectional racism and sexism; academia; universities; departments

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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