Additionally, we confront the condition that within that definition of Black and female,
scholar is invisible. For example, when Michele Fine spoke, the program read, "Dr.
Michele Fine." When a colleague and I presented "Race and Gender In the
Academy," the notice read, Adah Ward Randolph and Carla Bradley. We were not
professors. Several members of the audience did not know who we were. More importantly,
our colleagues who have a brown bag [lunch] often at the same time, did not attend to
engage Adah and Carla on issues of race and gender in the academy. The organizer of the
presentation quickly asserted that "Feminists do not use titles."
Our response was "Who said we have the same definition of feminism?" More importantly, why then was Michele referred to as Dr.? Are we scholars in this place? Thus, as James and Farmer contend, "African American women in universities work within environments which are often not only nonsupportive but at times outright hostile" (James and Farmer, 1993, 3). Other Black faculty women and I often spoke of how any suggestions we made during meetings were given hostile receptions. Despite such an atmosphere, we must survive.
In Spirit, Space and Survival: African American Women in (White) Academe (1993), Joy James and Ruth Farmer write,