During a four-year college career, most students take roughly 40 courses. Personally, I went to graduate school for another 7 years after college, taking an additional 40 – 50 more classes. During my entire undergraduate, masters and doctoral experience, I never had one single African American professor.
This experience made the educational process incredibly uncomfortable for me. I never experienced the privilege of my white classmates, who had teachers they could relate to, work with and connect with on a meaningful level. I did meet one African American professor (I never took his class) named Dr. Tommy Whittler. He is the sole reason I became a professor today because he was the first faculty member who’d ever taken time to mentor me as a human being.