The Banality of Liberal White Supremacy: Black Women Leaders, Administrative Marginalization and the Professional Toll of Anti-blackness


  • Jaye Jones Lehman College - CUNY


Adult education programs have traditionally embraced progressive, social justice-oriented approaches to instruction and advocacy, and during a time of "racial reckoning," this has been critical. However, even in culturally diverse spaces, whiteness often dominates – both in leadership and in how difference is framed - leaving anti-black racism unexplored. The result is that access to a truly transformative education is limited. Black female leaders face distinct challenges in this organizational context and moment. In this paper, the author utilizes her experiences as a Black female adult educator and administrator to explore how liberal white supremacy is enacted through the administrative marginalization of Black women as leaders and the impact this has on their professional development and the field. Suggestions to help programs authentically reflect on anti-blackness and nurture anti-racist community are provided.