Via the WEPAN listserv, I just learned about a new book about African American women in science:
Temple University is proud to announce the publication of Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls and Science Education by Sandra L. Hanson. In her book, Hanson uses Department of Education data as well as a recent survey of young African American women to examine the experiences in families, communities, and peer-groups that help young African American women “swim against the tide” of the white, male science education system. Sandra L. Hanson is Professor of Sociology and Research Associate at Life Cycle Institute, Catholic University . To learn more about the book, please visit its website.
From the book’s website:
“They looked at us like we were not supposed to be scientists,” says one young African American girl, describing one openly hostile reaction she encountered in the classroom. In this significant study, Sandra Hanson explains that although many young minority girls are interested in science, the racism and sexism in the field discourage them from pursuing it after high school. Those girls that remain highly motivated to continue studying science must “swim against the tide.”
Indeed. I will never forget the young African American woman at Kansas State who told me how, every semester, in at least one of her science and engineering classes, a professor would invariably come up to her on the first day of class and solicitously suggest to her that she must be in the wrong classroom. After all, what in the world would an African American woman be doing in a science or engineering class, right? Right.
I really, really want to get my hands on this book but it costs $64.50. The website suggests a paperback version is due out in September; I may just have to wait for that.