As I embark on a career in broadcast journalism, I have to admit my fears. My fear is not the hideously low pay coupled with the brutal hours. Nor is it the fact that I may get a masters’ degree in something that will prove to never be worth the money. My fear is that I will be broadcasting to an audience that may not want to watch me simply because I’m black or a female or seemingly LGBTQ. How can someone be seemingly LGBTQ? Well, it starts with being an opinionated woman that refuses to show her breasts on the news. If you haven’t noticed, everyone from Oprah to U.S. Secretary of State has been accused of being homosexual even when they clearly say they are not. Now, there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, but there is something wrong with the perception that an independent woman must be gay. This had led me to one conclusion, that I might as well be gay.
Oh no! The folks back home will never stop smacking their lips over this one. As African American Studies grows across the nation, its scholarly diversity does not fall behind. Could white professors be added to the “things keeping Black people down” list? Possibly, but the fall of Black academia shouldn’t be instantly expected. Many of you, with folded arms right now, have already made the fatal mistake of pitting experience as the only knowledge of struggle. Did you hear me? I said that a white teacher can understand why Langston Hughes has to say he knows rivers; or similarly, scream with Nina Simone in Mississippi.