Dear Professors of This P.W.I. (@JMU)

Dear Professors of this P.W.I. (@JMU)

  1. Well, I can see that you’re female, and I can also see that you’re black.”

  2. “Did you know your last name was a slave last name?”

  3. “I loved pointing out to my racist father we too had a black person’s last name.”

  4. “Do you know what PWI means? You should.”

  5. “Every country has its group of ‘N’ words, you know?”

  6. “I don’t think there are things you specifically need to improve…or things that you do wrong. You are great at what you do.” (I didn’t get a lead position after years of leading. So, when the position became available, I asked why I didn’t get it. This was my response.)

  7. “As you can see, we have a diverse team here, so all should feel welcomed.”

  8. “That is something that a majority of the class cannot relate to”. (I did a speech on police brutality and black lives. This was my feedback. This was intentional and I knew exactly who my audience was.)

 Dear James Madison University,

The above quotes represent some of the things my professors have said to me over the years

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t offended, felt sad and I even shed a few tears

I didn’t know how to respond to this and kept a lot of my feelings in

But I’m here today to finally voice my thoughts and for once feel comfortable in my skin


Truth be told, I never really liked JMU and always felt left out

Ironically, my grades are outstanding but my color is why I stand out

Surrounded by cookie cutter, mass-produced typical suburban girls

It’s hard not to doubt myself and embrace my curves and curls.

I am the unexpected in a sea of Barbie’s on parade

Hell…Mac and Fenty cosmetics can’t conceal this caramel shade.


To the professor of quote number one: this is what I have to say

I look at myself in the mirror multiple times a DAY.

Thank you for stating the obvious, I wasn’t likely to forget

You said that as if being black and female was something to regret.


To the professor of quote number two, allow me to educate you.

My last name originates from England, please get a clue

Not every black person has ancestors who were enslaved

Not every slave took the name of their owners in praise

Stop making generalizations and stupid ass assumptions

Learn how to conduct a proper student meeting, minus all the ruction.


“dId yOu kNow yOu hAd a sLavE lAst naMe?”

To the same professor of quotes two and number three

Your attempt at degrading daddy is such a tragedy

It’s repulsive sharing names with that racist doormat

I THANK GOD my mama taught me so much better than that.


To the professor of quote four…Watch what you say

Predominantly White Institution is ALL the U.S.A.

To the esteemed professors of quotes five through eight

Your words are veiled in ignorance, designed to agitate

Thank you each for the lessons you have added to my life

Undertones and an undercurrent of reminders that I AM NOT WHITE.


Dear Professors of this P.W.I. I’ll say this in closing

You possess degrees but you’re not above coaching

Beauty has no skin tone and achievement has no color

I will prevail and excel although you’ve made it tougher





Featured Image: Unknown. (2017, April 11). Pick Up The Mic GIF – AllEyezOnMe AllEyezOnMeGIFs TupacShakur – Discover & Share GIFs. Retrieved from

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5 thoughts on “Dear Professors of This P.W.I. (@JMU)

  1. I really appreciated this so much! This was really relatable in the since that as a women of color, I don’t appreciate JMU’s professors ignorance on certain subjects. I wish there were some clarity between transitions but overall, it’s really good!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay I loooooove this post. As a woman of color, I am not surprised by these comments in any way. I am now a senior at JMU and I have dealt with a lot of tokenism and racism from my professors. Professors have insinuated that I am incapable because of my skin tone. Professors have denied my experience as a Black woman. Professors have told me that my topics on racism do not relate to the audience. However, we are resilient and we continue to prove them wrong everyday. Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The fact that you have the courage to really put this out there is so brave and I applaud you for that. People don’t always realize what they say and how ignorant it comes off but you really bring these statements to life! And as a women of color you already have it harder but you keep pushing through all the adversity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YESSS!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. This is my favorite post I have read so far. The structure of the post was very creative; I loved it’s poetic nature. You truly captured my attention from beginning to end because it was just so moving and honest. Your vulnerability spoke volumes. AMAZING job!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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