racial bias

She couldn’t see me as the leader of the class and couldn’t recognize me as a professional equal.

Reflections Of A Black Female Scholar: I Know What It Feels Like To Be Invisible

As a black female academic, I know only too well what it feels like to have people look right though you. Let me give one instance — from just a few weeks ago, when I felt unrecognized for who I am.

I approached the podium of the lecture hall at the university at which I am a tenured professor. It was the first day of class and the instructor of the previous course was still around, talking informally with her students. Looking around the podium, I noticed that the classroom was not equipped with a computer.

I asked my colleague, whom I did not know, if there was a computer hidden in the cabinet. She proceeded to instruct me: “Faculty are provided computers, they bring their computers, and use a dongle to project on the screen.”

Her words told me she didn’t recognize me as faculty; she did not see me as professor.