Dr. April Massey: “Advancing Women’s Leadership in Higher Education” tonight on my podcast Thinking Culture

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Check out my new podcast going live tonight with my own dean Dr. April Massey!!! We will talk about women making moves in higher education, as well as building leadership opportunities for faculty and students.

April Massey, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia, has earned degrees from The Ohio State University, the
University of Cincinnati, and Howard University. A speech-language pathologist by profession, she has nearly 20 years of administrative experience and has served in the
capacity of dean for five years. Dr. Massey uses her disciplinary training to consider the liberal arts and
careerist needs of students and the research, teaching, and leadership interests of faculty. With newly launched initiatives in signature work, women’s leadership, faculty development, STEM pipeline, faculty learning hubs, and scholarship of
practice, her work emphasizes learning by doing and lived experience as content and context for teaching and learning.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/at-the-edge-thinkculture/2019/03/28/advancing-womens-leadership-and-higher-education-dr-april-massey-dean

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REVIEW: Movie-Shuffering and Shimiling: Race,Degradation,Apathy in Netherlands [racism/sexism triggers]

REVIEW: Movie—Shuffering and Shimiling: Race, Degradation and Apathy in the Netherlands by Shantrelle Lewis.

Reading this review reminds me of the recent Spanish magazine cover featuring a depiction of Michelle Obama as a topless, head-wrapped slave.  I am also reminded of the ways in which Black women living in the so-called Western world have been and continue to be exploited, objectified, humiliated, and dehumanized in the name of “free speech,” “artistic license/freedom,” “being hip.”

I am also reminded of conversations I’ve had with some European men and women who proclaim the United States as less sophisticated than continental European countries with regard to race relations and acceptance of cultural differences.  Given my own experiences traveling through parts of Western Europe, I propose that what some people label as “sophisticated” may be in fact just more spin on a very visible and ugly legacy of hatred/fear of the Other.  Think of it as a reheating of a long brewing stew of racism with its base being the bones and marrow of European colonialism and enslavement of Africans and Asians.  In other words, to borrow from bell hooks’ essay “Eating the Other,” our bodies and our cultures continue to be (mis)categorized, commodified and consumed by those motivated by hegemonic forces who wish and need to see a perpetuation of eurocentric, phallocentric ideologies that dehumanize, silence, and ultimately disappear so-called racial/ethnic others through racist and misogynist discourse.

Is it any wonder I don’t go to movies anymore?  But we know that the movie industry is but a small part of a much larger problem when it comes to media, race, and gender.  I am not surprised at the persistence of racism and sexism/misogyny in Europe or the United States.  Simply put, I am tired of it.  I am tired of being subjected to the lasting impact of isms on the quality of my life.  I am tired of explaining to folk why having a Black president does not make the Western world free of its own racist poison, why having a Ph.D and a career as a professor does not give me immunity to the sexism and racism casually thrown at women of colordaily.

This is but one more example of how far the West has not traveled away from its legacy of slavery and colonialism, and in fact, seems unable to wrest itself from a dependency on othering and exclusion in order to define and distinguish itself.  It is a shallow and useless relationship based on lies and delusion, one that has no basis on reality, but continues to seek ways of feeding the addiction through the perpetuation of racist myths and stereotypes.  Meanwhile, the population of the planet continues to grow in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and the West continues to “brown” and “blacken.”

As such, the practice of using racist scripts and images in mass media and entertainment in the West is not only unsophisticated, but small-minded.  We who are Black and Brown do have power, in that our wallets and our voices make a wonderful pair to reinforce how tired we feel about encountering racism and sexism in pop culture.  It is time to start using our power.