A first-of-its-kind compelling exploration of what it means to be a Black woman in higher education.
Black women are heading to college in record numbers, and more and more Black women are teaching in higher education. But increasing numbers in college don't guarantee our safety there. Willpower and grit may improve achievement for Black people in school, but they don't secure our belonging. In fact, the very structure of higher education ensures that we're treated as guests, outsiders to the institutional family--outnumbered and unwelcome.
Dr. Jasmine Harris shares her own experiences attempting to be a Vassar girl and reckoning with a lack of legacy and agency. Moving beyond the ""data points"", Dr. Harris examines the day-to-day impacts on Black women as individuals, the longer-term consequences to our professional lives, and the generational costs to our entire families.
""I want to arm as many Black girls and women as I can with the knowledge about these spaces that I lacked,"" says Dr. Harris. ""By laying bare my own traumas, and those of Black women before me, I am providing them the tools to protect themselves, with an understanding of how deliberately many institutions will try to undercut them.""
Trial and error has been required of Black students to navigate systems of discrimination and disadvantage. But this book now offers useful support, illuminating the community of Black women dealing with similar issues. The author's story is not unusual, nor are her interactions anomalies. Black Women, Ivory Tower explores why.