US: The African-American Search

Francis Hult francis.hult at UTSA.EDU
Wed Oct 10 01:59:32 UTC 2007

Inside Higher Ed


The African-American Search


Once more, the English department at my Southern liberal arts college will send a team to the Modern Language Association meeting to search for an African American. Oops, did I say that? I mean, an African-Americanist - someone who specializes in research and teaching African-American literature. This search, three years running, has become the most vexing aspect of departmental life, at least in part because of the department's well-meaning but misguided goal of hiring a black candidate. When the applications come in, there is a more or less unspoken attempt to read the color of the candidate based on the colleges they attended, their names, or their committee work.


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