and the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research; and the opportunity for joint academic appointments in Black Studies (the academic entry port for many Black faculty) or Women’s Studies and another academic department. Finally, institutions of higher learning must continually reassess "how teaching, research and service are defined and create new standards for research and pedagogy" (Gregory, 1999).

The concerns raised by Andrews, Ward Randolph and Williams are not new ones.  Actually, the authors present some unresolved challenges that have faced Black women in the academy for years. The difference today may be that Black women have plenty of other career opportunities available to them.  Why should they choose the academy? The obvious answer is that the classroom continues to be the place where an individual can influence profoundly the lives of young people, preparing the next generation of thinkers, leaders and doers who will work to improve the lives of our families and families around the world. It does not get any better than that.

Gregory, S.T. (1999). Black women in the academy: The secrets to success and achievement. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Hine, D.C. (1997). The future of Black women in the academy: Reflections on struggle.  In Black women in the academy: Promises and perils, ed., L. Benjamin, pp. 327-339. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press.

Locke, M.E. (1997). Striking the balances: The future of African American women in the academy.  In Black women in the academy: Promises and perils, ed. L. Benjamin, pp. 340-346. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press.


Shari E. Miles, Ph.D.,
Interim Director
African American Women's Institute (AAWI) at Howard University


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May 2000