Stereotypes and Education

Another busy week…one of the things I do amongst many is being a Professor. I am professor at a school where we get to be creative and at a relatively young age, I teach graduate students. My second semester of it and I must say it is quite enjoyable. Teachers/Professors do NOT get enough respect and compensation let me say that first and foremost. The students make it memorable but for the 3rd time I have dealt with breaking a stereotype and making a “non-minority” “feel some kinda way.” Let me paint the picture. After my class, I am heading to the FACULTY lounge.  The lounge is FACULTY keycard access ONLY. A Faculty member was walking in and i was going in behind him.. and grant it.. i had on jeans, sweatshirt jacket nice kicks and fitted, (not your usual faculty outfit but again im not at a Business School) I walk in and he literally stops  me and says in a most aggressive tone. “May I help you?” Now what makes this funny to me is the gentleman is all of 5,5. I say in my Samuel L. Jackson, voice, “NO I AM A PROFESSOR” with the same wince in my eyes he had as Jules Verne. Oh the gush of red on the face was priceless. A Few minutes later, I am walking out he tries to save face and say “Oh my God, I am sorry I didn’t know, what is your name…and in sarcastic form, I say PROFESSOR insert my name lol and then my administrator comes out and tells him oh yeah he’s one of my best professors, and the look on his face is the look I can only imagine when Conservative Republicans had when they knew President Barack Obama was going to win the election in 2008 and 2012.

Why is it that other races are so comfortable assuming that Black Males can’t be in such positions? In light of that it made me reflect, do I have to wear a 3 piece suit ALL the time to be taken seriously? (Though I must admit I am dashing in it lol). Now if I had on a janitorial jumpsuit, would he have just let me in because he felt that role is what fits? Stereotypes and assumptions are a big part of racism? However as someone who as worked in constantly in fields that traditionally most Black Americans have not had the resources to venture into. This is NOT the first time I have dealt with this, and I only wonder how may of my other educational comrades have dealt with this and how have you dealt with it.

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