Still Dealing AT Duke
Dr. Karla Holloway, the William R. Kenan Professor of English at Duke University, was appointed to the university’s Committee on Race in March 2006. Holloway explains to Diverse how the highly publicized men’s lacrossse rape scandal continues to affect race relations on campus.
“I just spoke recently to Black women on campus, and it was difficult to hear how they were still negotiating this space; they were cautious. They are confident, wonderful women, but they do not want to be the one who stands out in any way because they feel vulnerable. This has become, for many people, an issue of Black and White. The accuser is African-American, and it goes back to the notion of stereotype. For Whiteness, there’s the escape of individuality. But for Black-ness, there is that collection of culture, so that a Black woman doesn’t feel like her individual self; she feels people see her in connection to the accuser in the story. That’s where the vulner-ability comes from. So we talked about the importance of sisterhood and community. Our community doesn’t always come from people who look like us, and we have to recognize and appreciate the others as well. There are so many students wearing blue bracelets saying ‘innocent.’ I have not seen Black students wearing these bracelets.”
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