We’re Not Ok

Focusing on the lived experiences of Black faculty, this week's review examines what it means to be Black in higher education.

We’re Not Ok: Black Faculty Experiences and Higher Education Strategies

ed. by Antija M. Allen and Justin T. Stewart Cambridge, 2022
250p bibl index, 9781316513347 $89.99, 9781009073561 $29.99, 9781009075237

We're Not Ok: Black Faculty Experiences and Higher Education Strategies book cover.

While faculty retention is extensively discussed in higher education, few scholarly manuscripts focus exclusively on its intersection with race. Even though pipeline issues and microaggressions have been researched by many DEI scholars, there have been scant research articles highlighting the lived experiences of Black faculty. This makes We’re Not OK a crucial read that will fill the gap in the current literature and discourses taking place in the field of higher education. The book comprises both review and original research articles as well as personal narratives about the journey through academia, from being Black students to becoming faculty, mental wellness, and resistance strategies. Compared to the authors’ proposed institutional policies and actions, the individual strategies proposed here may provoke more in-depth and fresher discussions. For example, some particularly insightful perspectives delve into the experiences of Black faculty and adult returning students; masking behaviors in classrooms; virtual learning and Zoom; and the intersections of class, race, and gender. Just as the collection discusses “speaking truth to power” as one of Black women faculty’s strategies of resistance, the book itself is a bold act of defiance to oppressions.

Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.
Y. Ding, California State University Northridge
Interdisciplinary Subjects: African and African American Studies, Racial Justice
 Social & Behavioral Sciences – Education
Choice Issue: Feb 2023

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