Blackwomen* Academics as Contemporary Anti-Slavery Rebels: Breachers of the Intersecting Contract in Tenure Denial Lawsuits

La Wanda Ward, Chayla Haynes, Raya Petty, Tierra Walters Mackie

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1 Scopus citations


White men who enslaved people of African descent and wrote the U.S. Constitution never imagined Blackwomen as persons who would become educated citizens. Acknowledgments and legal interpretations to affirm Blackwomen’s personhood are absent from the romanticized document. We argue that in academia the intersecting contract is imposed on Blackwomen’s bodies when their worth, qualifications, and potential are overly scrutinized, and they experience epistemic and physical violence within PWIs and in society writ large. The intersecting contract, through plantation politics, further helps to explain why Blackwomen academics who are seeking tenure are expected to overextend themselves by doing extra work without fair compensation. We use intersectionality methodology in our application of Angela Davis’ framework, Blackwomen as contemporary anti-slavery rebels, to illuminate how three Blackwomen academics breach the intersecting contract that undergirds discriminatory practices enacted by institutional actors to deprive them of tenure and promotion and trample on their dignity. We conclude by inviting Blackwomen academics to embody a maroon logic for rest, healing, and protection as PWIs cannot be coconspirators in our liberation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-419
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Studies - AESA
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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