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[FL] White Teacher Black Studies

White Teacher Stands Out In Black Studies

Department of Africana Studies instructor Eric Duke works in his office at the University of South Florida.



Published: Apr 10, 2006
TAMPA - Eric Duke resembles a student - Kangol caps, diamond stud earrings - until he gets in front of the classroom and speaks with authority about Ella Baker and other black figures.

His lectures on race aren't for the politically correct. White people still control society, and their racist attitudes prevail, he says.

"I don't sugarcoat it," Duke, 33, said in an interview. "There's racial privilege. We can't blame victims of racism for racism. The general public's perception is probably shock at me teaching this. But it's not uncommon in academic circles."

What is uncommon is Duke's race, given his job.

He's the only white faculty member of the only graduate-level African-American studies program in Florida.

He joined the University of South Florida's Africana Studies Department as an instructor last fall. The youngest in the group, Duke rejects the "Tweed Army" professorial approach to teaching. He paces and gestures, his voice rising with the subject matter.

He uses fliers to promote his classes. This fall: black radical thought. "Is it afros, kente cloth, dashikis and clenched fists?" The question is printed under black power fists and above the black nationalist flag.

Messages In This Thread

[FL] White Teacher Black Studies
Re: [FL] White Teacher Black Studies

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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