For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Leaving Academia When the Pain Was Too Much: Strategies for Black Survival
Black women (BW) in academia experience inordinate amounts of stress and challenges to their well-being. Surviving is a constant, often painful, struggle. In this paper, I share two personal stories of events that have transpired in my academic department in the aftermath of the racial reckoning of 2020. Both stories elucidate key points about the experiences of BW that are further elaborated on in the discussion of strategies for self-survival in academic institutions (i.e., understanding one’s experience through the lens of trauma, practicing self-care, finding community, addressing internalized oppression, adjusting expectations and practicing self-advocacy, or if all else fails, leave) and what institutions can do to increase equity and belonging for Black survival (i.e., understanding the experience of BW in academia through a trauma-informed lens and institutionalizing equity and belonging in real and measurable ways).
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