Playing with shadows: white academics’ rituals of goodness

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Department or Administrative Unit

Center for Teaching and Learning

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This essay explores how good intentioned white academics can hijack the important essence of anti-racism work and allows whiteness to invade the site. During the process of participating in anti-racist meetings and events many white academics are more occupied with advancing their positive white identity than liberating people of color through anti-racism work. By doing so, they allow whiteness to creep in and make anti-racism work benefit them, not people of color. In the end, the work whose goal is to disrupt whiteness gets controlled by whiteness itself. Anti-racism work must be collaborative work between the dominant and subordinate groups, but academics of color must take a more proactive stance in providing white academics with knowledge that can be transformed into praxis.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education