Robin Phylisia Chapdelaine, Abena Ampofoa Asare, and Michelle Dionne Thompson

Nov 23, 2023

When Will the Joy Come?

Black Women in the Ivory Tower

African American Intellectual 2023

How do Black women in higher education create, experience, and understand joy? What sustains them? While scholars have long documented sexism, racism, and classism in the academy, one topic has been conspicuously absent from the literature--how Black women academics have found joy in the midst of adversity. Moving beyond questions of resilience, labor for others, and coping, Robin Phylisia Chapdelaine, Abena Ampofoa Asare, and Michelle Dionne Thompson's book When Will the Joy Come?: Black Women in the Ivory Tower (U Massachusetts Press, 2023) focuses on the journeys of over thirty Black women at various stages of their careers.

Joy is a mixture of well-being, pleasure, alignment, and purpose that can be elusive for Black women scholars. With racial reckoning and a global pandemic as context, this volume brings together honest and vital essays that ponder how Black women balance fatigue and frustrations in the halls of the ivory tower, and explore where, when, and if joy enters their lives. By carefully contemplating the emotional, physical, and material consequences of their labor, this collection demonstrates that joy is a tactical and strategic component of Black women's struggle.

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