Black Professors Are A Must For Black College Students
by B. Viera
Graduate school at a predominantly white institution was a complete culture shock after four years of attending a historically black college and university. Since the age of 10 I knew I would attend and graduate from an HBCU. Both my mother and my aunt were products of HBCUs, and I understood early in adolescence what it would mean to attend HBCU in opposed to a PWI. While in undergrad at Tennessee State University, I never thought about how invaluable having black professors were until I arrived at the School of Journalism at Indiana University.
The j-school at IU felt like a foreign place. Sure I had gone to private school for a couple of years in my childhood where I was one of a handful of black people. And I had certainly been the only black girl on my 8th grade cheerleading team. But academia promised diversity- diversity of thought, student body, faculty and administration. Early on I recognized the absence of black professors in the department. I searched aimlessly for that one professor who would understand the unique challenges I would face as a black woman, not only in the program, but also in
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