Exodus 33:14 states: My presence will go with you. And I will give you REST. I will address the religious allegory associated with the Exodus theme and black migration later. Further, I feel that I should point to the problem of a seemingly reliance on this simple theme in historical and religious studies. But for now, I love this document:
In 1917, the Cleveland Advocate published its take on the Exodus of black folks from the South: “There is no mistaking what is going on; it is going on; it is a regular exodus. It is without head, tail, or leadership. Its greatest factor is momentum, and this is increasing, despite amazing efforts on the part of white Southerners to stop it. People are leaving their homes and everything about them, under cover of night, as though they were going on a day’s journey – leaving forever”.
As I told students, that REST did not transpire in a secular sense once migration ended. Black folks would continue to find strength in the church as they had done; however, as I have noted in the paper I will deliver at the Christian Scholars’ Conference this summer, the generational shift brought about a change regarding black folks and the church in the 21st century. My paper starts off with this piece from the Advocate.
I have another thought coming regarding the days of the Cold War. And though I do not blog much about politics here at The Professor anymore, I could not let this point slip away. I must say, however, I did not know Obama made this statement regarding Russia during the campaign march; he should no better. The Cold War never ended; well, the notion of an ideological divide regarding global hegemony has long continued — even during the dark Russian days circa 1991 to 2000.
Leave it to Fox News to remind us of Obama’s poor response during the last election campaign. In Obama’s defense, Mitt should have been smart enough to offer a more decisive response.
So, many, many years ago while teaching at CAC in Little Rock, Arkansas, the head of school invited me to give an interview for the school’s bulletin. Here are a few screen pictures of that article. I was pretty darn excited to be considered.
Maybe it is just me, but I love receiving the most recent issues of a particular journal; I am a member of three historical associations, and when a current issue arrives in my mail, I usually cannot wait to delve into the articles, eager to assess the most recent academic scholarship. Also, as I have noted to students, I cannot read every single scholarly book that comes out. Hence, I spend empty office hours studying the basic premise of what is being discussed. Sure that makes me a bit of a fraud, but I am an honest one. With the transition from my last teaching position to my current one here at Brooks, my membership expired. As you can see from the note above, I am sorta back in the game. Cheers!
The book Colors of Excellence is the leading authority on this topic. I have read it a few times. It is one that is always discussed at the annual People of Color Conference held by the National Association of Independent Schools. Moreover, it serves as a great comfort to many teachers of color with its countless anecdotes from other faculty members of color regarding their own experiences in independent schools. Regardless of what some might say, only those of a particular minority group can fully understand the social construction in existence that might or might not promote a level of comfort. There are continual challenges regarding diversity here in the 21st century.
Many minority faculty members and school administrators discuss the hiring of minority candidates in two terms: comfort and fit; however, both terms can mean different things to schools and minority faculty members. As I write this, I am proud that my department chair, dean of faculty, and other chairs are at conferences in which efforts are made to recruit people of color is paramount for the health of our faculty and students. I do know of schools that assume that such faculty members will just apply. Little effort is made to bring such candidates to campus.
As I have noted before, one of the disconcerting facts about being a teacher of color in an independent school is this: We are treated as replaceable parts. Of course, as noted in a conversation at a recent conference, this is pretty much true for all people. I have seen colleagues grow frustrated at the lack of change within their schools and the uncompromising nature that shapes their institution. And, when these faculty members of color move on, the school seems to always get someone new, fresh out of graduate school, who does not know the history of the school’s relationship with faculty autonomy, diversity, and empowerment. New teachers and faculty of color, with their fresh energy and idealism, often go through the same cycles of delusion and roadblocks. Part of the problem is that independent schools tend to believe in what I have blogged about before: The “silver bullet theory.” Faculty and administrators in schools claim they have done this or that to fully meet the needs of a faculty member, but in the end, it is what they want and not what is in the best interest of the faculty.
I tell folks on the market how important it is to ask the right question during the process of seeking out a school; interview them as much as they interviewing you. As a person of color, it is key that we find a place what is best for us — new and/or experienced teacher.
Can you name any cool things on this bookshelf just to the left of my desk? I am convinced most of my story is here.
I am excited to push forward with my research on Carl Henry, a modern historical figure in the evangelical movement who served as the first editor of Christianity Today. I hope to apply the color-line thesis to Christianity Today’s reluctance to discuss the color-line problem during Henry’s tenure. I would like to juxtapose it to the more liberal efforts of the Christian Century on matters of race. However, I might revise the comparative part just a bit; I am trying to draft a paper not a book. Thus, at the rate in which I am taking notes for this project, the page numbers might get out of hand. Above my friend Mrs. Chili let me borrow her scanner. I felt I might get more accomplished if I scanned the archival material first, which allows me to read, sort, and study later for my paper. Though downtown Boston is not too far from campus, I cannot continue to sprint down here every weekend.
I am reading through decades of articles from both journals dating back to the early 1950s. I must admit that I find this type of work exciting for my knowledge and academic growth, but for my students as well. I am doing what I teach. And though this topic of scholarship is narrow and a bit specific, it does not change its macro impact on race and faith.