Donna Y. Ford
White privilege ― unearned ― is a topic and reality that I grapple with daily. It is everywhere. Yes, everywhere. And I don’t see many beneficiaries giving up associated privileges. Nor do I see many sharing them with non-Whites, especially those who are Black and Hispanic/Latino.
In some way or another, I do realize that, despite facing racism and sexism, I do have educational privilege. This privilege is earned. I worked long and hard for my degrees.
But, I can’t always cash in on this privilege due to racial inequities and sometimes gender inequities, but being highly educated and at an elite university does benefit me and loved ones on occasion. When no one knows that I am Black (say, during a call), I benefit more. When in person, the privileges often diminish, turning into pennies and even more discrimination and oppression.
Why? Because I am not supposed to be so accomplished as a Black person and/or Black female.
Here are a few educational privileges that come to mind.
This short list is by no means complete. Having shared it, I reiterate that White privilege is unearned; educational privilege is earned. But as a Black female scholar, I am caught in the middle.
Dr. Donna Ford is a professor in the Department of Special Education and Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University.