Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: The Tale of A Progressive Professor Who Forgot To Hide Her…
Kayla Renee Parker
5K414

This article literally screams out to me: “Better hear the professor’s side of the story!” Why? Because people are often bad at knowing what their behavior looks like to others. You just calmly asked questions and the professor suddenly goes crazy? Are you sure you weren’t disrespectful (yes, people deserve to be spoke to respectfully, even professors by students)? Did you make some kind of triggering comment which somehow got left out of the article (like accusing the professor of being a racist in front of the whole class)? Guess what: being black does not automatically make you an authority on the lives of black people 200 years ago any more than being Jewish makes someone into an instant authority on the Holocaust. Could it be that the professor was teaching a view on black families that is based on solid research which has not yet made it into the textbooks? Maybe she sides with a certain viewpoint not for political or racial reasons, but because it reflects her side in a debate on methodology? And why do you assume that the claim that slaves heroically managed to keep families intact is somehow racist? Just from your own description of her position I could easily understand it as celebrating black resistance to slavery. I remember seeing a similar debate over slaves’ relationship to time. Frederick Douglas famously begins his account of slavery by saying that he doesn’t know when he was born, often seen as exemplifying the destruction of temporality under slavery. But some scholars insist on demonstrating that through acts of resistance, slaves managed to maintain some control over the dimension of time in their lives. Are you against people describing the slaves’ acts of resistance because it tarnishes the purity of their victimhood?

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