Black Academic Voices captures the personal accounts of lived experiences of black academics at South African universities in the context of the ongoing debate for transformation and decolonization of higher education. This debate has not only raised epistemic, ideological, relational and identity issues in the academy, but also offers possibilities for deconstructing hierarchies of authoritarianism that are racist, sexist, patriarchal and colonial. While many scholars have had the opportunity to explore the challenges of higher education transformation since 1994, very few black academics have had the chance to tell their stories in the biographical form. This book, therefore, seeks to fill this gap with the aim of defining what it means to be black in the South African Academy Post 1994, South Africa has presented us with a plethora of structural and relational challenges that perpetuate the precarious state of black people in many institutions, including the academy.
It has been crafted in such a way that the contributors find themselves oscillating between the different life trajectories as students and as members of faculty in historically white universities where being black seems to be a challenge. While it seemed evidently difficult at this point in the history of the academy for black academics to capture positive experiences of our universities, the emerging consensus among all contributors illustrate that the academy is a worthwhile endeavour. The broader intention of this book is to present evidence demonstrating why black academics leave the academy. Furthermore, to illustrate how subtle and at times overt exclusion continue to be part of the everyday experiences of black academics. Black Academc Voices is in three parts: the misrepresentation of black bodies; the heterogenous black experience; and Affirmation of self through empowering and inspiration of the other.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
1. Black in the academy: Reframing knowledge, the knower, and knowing
Grace Khunou, Hugo Canham, Katijah Khoza-Shangase and Edith Dinong Phaswana
2. Negotiating the academy: black bodies ‘out of place’ Peace Kiguwa
3. Writing to Stay: Running shoes replaced with high heels
4. Intellectual and emotional toxicity: where a cure does not appear to be imminent Katijah Khoza-Shangase
5. Thinking while Black
6. Black and foreign: negotiating being different in South Africa’s academy
7. The polemic body
8. Belonging: Whose word is it anyway?
Advocate René Koraan
9. Valuing/Belonging and Devaluing/Unbelonging in the Academy: An Intersectional Perspective
10. Don’t teach me nonsense
Colin Tinei Chasi
11. The limits of being and knowledge in the academy
12. Sitting on One Bum: The Struggle of Survival and Belonging for a Black African Woman in the Academy
Advocate René Koraan
13. Belonging to oneself