Monday, October 1, 2012

Too many Collegiate Black Men?

Hanging out with a group of my students in 2005
Years ago, a university official arranged to photograph me with my students for the college's website. You know, one of those photos where the professor is shown interacting with his or her students. Sure, no problem, I said.

However, when the official learned that a number of my classes had primarily black students, she decided to rethink the plan. She thought that photographs of me with mostly black students on the website would not convey the right ideas. 

Apparently, it’s ok to show images of black people on university websites, as long as there are not too many of them in a group together. Show too many, so the thinking went, and it could send the wrong message to potential white students.

Playing in the Dark: How Universities Represent Black Students & Faculty

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