Student and Faculty Perspectives on Black Americans’ Success in the White Academy

Part of a special issue on the lessons learned from African-Americans in historically white institutions. Recommendations from a junior and a senior African-American scholar on changing the conditions and increasing the success of African-American scholars in predominantly white institutions are provided. The junior scholar recommends integrating an African-American presence into the fundamental image or view of the university, according African-American students greater academic freedom for the pursuit of intellectual interests and greater freedom of association, acknowledging the diversity of the abilities of African-American graduate students, and recognizing that African-American professors are not infallible. The senior scholar recommends hiring many African-Americans rather than a few tokens, respecting the limited time and resources of the African-American faculty, and encouraging and making room for African-Americans to assume roles of academic leadership. Both scholars reflect on their own experiences in predominantly white institutions.