Wednesday, January 18, 2012

should white teachers be allowed to teach histories about people of color?

so, i took 20th Century Black History this semester as a way to get credits for my African American Studies minor. and i'm getting annoyed by a few things...

for one, my professor is white. i'm not going to say i wasn't disappointed the first day of class to see someone that looks like Stone Cold Steve Austin (minus the muscles) setting up his slideshow.
firstly, i don't think any college should prohibit someone from achieving a degree or teaching position in African American studies if they're white. i do, however, think there should be extra requirements for them to get a degree in the field and that colleges should encourage or try much harder to employ Black professors for Black Studies as much as they possibly can. there are a number of Black with degrees in Black Studies that cannot find jobs. he cannot and will never be able to speak about Black history from the perspective that we can. and that is what is most needed. equally, i don't want a white man or woman teaching me about Taoism, Asian Studies, Arabic, Spanish, or Latin American Studies. the diversity of schools is lacking and the perspective is one of an outsider. i want someone whose first language was Arabic or Spanish to teach me those languages and i want an Asian teaching me Chinese, Taoism or Asian Philosophies. not a white man who went to China for 3 years and now thinks he can teach me about Asia or the Spanish language.
does he (or they) know more about Black history than most Black folks? more and likely. does he know more about Black history than a Black person with a degree in African-American studies? absolutely not. and he never will.

and he said the n-word today. twice. he was reading something that said it and he recalled a quote from some racist politician, but still.

also, i really enjoy, actually i need, a Black professor. at least one a semester. i have another one (Geography of Africa course...of which the professor and i are the only Black folks in the class...), but i need more, and i need them talking about the things that are important to our community.

comment. think. criticize.


  1. lol you don't want a white man teaching you about 'spanish' even though Spanish people are white Europeans? Also many people in Latin American countries are white.