Antoinette Bonnie Candia-Bailey, a beloved professor at an historically Black University in Missouri, committed suicide on Jan. 8, reportedly as a result of racism by the school’s president. Harvard University president Claudine Gay recently resigned amid accusations of plagiarism. Many view her resignation as an illustration of the broader issue of marginalizing Black women within the predominantly white male academic space.
Academia is not inherently designed for the success of Black faculty. These institutions were initially created for and catered to white people, placing BIPOC in a position where they must succeed within systems not designed for their success. Centering Black scholars in roles critical to the institution involves challenging the role of white supremacy addressing systemic issues within academia that create unrealistic expectations.