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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19323

Title: The Double-edged Sword: A Critical Race Africology of Collaborations between Blacks and Whites in Racial Equity Work
Authors: Howard, Philip Sean Steven
Advisor: Dei, George Jerry Sefa
Department: Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
Keywords: Anti-racism
Critical Study of Whiteness
Embodied Knowledge
Critical Whiteness Studies
Epistemology of Ignorance
African Agency
Salience of Race
Interest Convergence
Issue Date: 9-Mar-2010
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a significant amount of new attention to white dominance and privilege (or whiteness) as the often unmarked inverse of racial oppression. This interest has spawned the academic domain called Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS). While the critical investigation of whiteness is not new, and has been pioneered by Black scholars beginning at least since the early 1900s in the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, what is notable about this new interest in whiteness is its advancement almost exclusively by white scholars. The paucity of literature centering the Black voice in the study of whiteness both suggests the lack of appreciation for the importance of this perspective when researching the phenomenon of racial dominance, and raises questions about the manner in which racial equity work is approached by some Whites who do work that is intended to advance racial equity. This study investigates the context of racial equity collaborations between Blacks and Whites, responding to this knowledge deficit in two ways: a) it centers the Black voice, specifically and intentionally seeking the perspectives of Blacks about racial equity collaborations b) it investigates the nature and effects of the relationships between Blacks and Whites in these collaborative endeavours. This qualitative research study uses in-depth interview data collected from ten Black racial equity workers who collaborate with Whites in doing racial equity work. The data makes evident that the Black participants find these collaborations to be necessary and strategic while at the same time having the potential to undermine their own agency. The study examines this contradiction, discussing several manifestations of it in the lives of these Black racial equity workers. It outlines the importance of Black embodied knowledge to racial equity work and to these collaborations, and outlines an epistemology of unknowing and a politics of humility that these Blacks seek in their white colleagues. The study also outlines the collective and individual strategies used by these Black racial equity workers to navigate and resist the contradictory terrain of their collaborations with Whites in racial equity work.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19323
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education - Doctoral theses

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