Someone asked this question two days ago on Twitter. It already has over 45,000 replies. Perusing them, I see a lot of nevers and nones.
I might be missing someone but I think I made it through 13 grades, 5 schools, 2 degrees, 1 college, and 2 universities without ever having a Black teacher or professor.
While I’ve had many Black mentors in my adult life, it’s upsetting that I don’t recall that experience from my youth.
I’d like to think I made up for that lack through my post-secondary education. Thinking back to my college and graduate programs in sociology and public administration, I remember enrolling in many memorable courses and participating in enlightened discussions that helped shape my life — through topics such as peace studies, political sociology, social change, urban policy, criminology, and leadership strategies.
I found a 1997 college essay probing whether affirmative action is a policy of equity or reverse discrimination. I wrote 10 pages about Plessy v. Ferguson, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 1983 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and other milestones in history. Professor Zeadey graded me an A-. It was fascinating to read my paragraph structure and her margin notes as I tried recreating my thought processes. Maybe I’ll update it some day.