By Elwood Watson
This number of essays written via seventeen new release X lecturers passionately, provocatively, and eloquently demonstrates the non-public matters, conflicts, and triumphs which are definitive of this iteration. those essays outline the voice of a frequently disregarded and overlooked demographic.
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Additional resources for Overcoming Adversity in Academia: Stories from Generation X Faculty
Undoubtedly, the era and the familial emphasis upon education have had profound lasting effects. Today, my mother and all three children have graduated college. Further, among the four of us three have earned varying graduate degrees and my youngest sibling is now considering graduate programs. Despite our working class roots, we have valued education and seen it as a path to new opportunities and individual fulfillment. This progressive view is the foundation of my own academic life—I value creative intellectual pursuits, have been socialized towards liberal perspectives on race, gender, and sexuality, and see learning and academics as a lifelong process.
Also, though Exum's claim of new black students coming from a "different in socioeconomic background, being more affluent, and different in their political socialization, or at least less willing to engage in direct political action on campus"(196), students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds have even less desire choosing not to become involved in any black student organizations at all. Middle and upper class blacks - like their white counterparts perhaps - while not engaging in militant political activity do join other organizations that target black interests, such as historically black Greek letter organizations or black organizations that are specific to profession (National Society of Black Engineers).
Yet, black student organizations became fully aware of their limits within the university, especially when attempts were made to go beyond surface changes regarding campus race relations. William Exum states, "Because of the University’s 'white liberal' orientation, it was willing to accede to black students' demands, but only so long as its basic interests were not threatened, including its ability to retain the support of a variety of internal and external interests groups" (142-143). Those groups generally include powerful and influential alumni outside the school and conservative white groups inside the school.