Black Women Scholars in the Ebony Tower

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The rise to national and international prominence of selected African American female alumni of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including Vice President Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, and Nicole Hannah-Jones, welcomes a renewed focus on the significance of HBCUs as gateways to the educational, cultural, and professional development of black people. While the impact of HBCUs on black student progress has received sustained attention, the professional experience of black female faculty and staff at HBCUs in the post-civil rights era remains understudied. And Still We Rise!: Black Women Scholars in the Ebony Tower since 1965, a one-day virtual symposium to convene November 8, 2021, aims to address this need. Commemorating the 56th anniversary of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the symposium highlights the educational journeys and professional contributions of Black women scholars at HBCUs as defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965. "And Still We Rise" is conversant with Deborah Gray White’s _Telling Our Stories_ (1994), Stephanie Evans’s _Black Women in the Ivory Tower_ (2007), Francille Rusan Wilson’s _Segregated Scholars_ (2008), and other studies. "And Still We Rise" also serves as a call for papers for a forthcoming edited collection examining how Black women scholars at HBCU’s define and maintain excellence in teaching, research, and service despite nuanced struggles with the following: classism, colorism, ethnocentrism, racism, regionalism, sexism, limited opportunities for advancement, less competitive salaries, fewer resources, less research support, and limited networking opportunities with outside institutions and organizations. As Black women constitute 42% (5912) of the 14,100 full-time Black faculty serving at HBCU’s (as of 2001), a comprehensive examination of their labor is not only merited but also timely given the role Black women faculty continue to play in preparing students to change the world.