As a new generation of African Americans completes college, an increasing number of students are aspiring to the Ph.D. as a stepping stone to a career in the academy and to fully participate in shaping our society. Most African Americans are conscious that they are the first in their families to embark on this journey. They are aware they will meet barriers and prejudice, are likely to face isolation and frustration, and find few sources of support along the way.
This book, by twenty-four Black scholars who "have been there," offers a guide to aspiring doctoral students to the formal process and to the personal, emotional and intellectual challenges they are likely to face. The authors come from a wide range of disciplines - from computing, education and literature to science and sociology. Although their experiences and backgrounds are as varied as they are as individuals, their richly diverse chapters cohere into a rounded guide to the issues for those who follow in their footsteps.
From questioning the reader about his or her reasons for pursuing a doctorate, offering advice on financial issues, the choice of university and doctoral program, and relocation, through the process and timetable of application, interviews, acceptance and rejection, the authors go on to describe their own journeys and the lessons they have learned.
These men and women write candidly about their experiences, the strategies they used to maintain their motivation, make the transition from HBCUs to PWIs, balance family and work, make the right choices and keep focussed on priorities. They discuss how to work effectively with advisors and mentors, make all-important connections with teachers and build professional and personal support networks. They recount how they dealt with tokenism, established credibility, handled racism, maintained their values and culture, and persuaded supervisors to legitimize their research interests in African American issues.
This is both an inspirational and practical book for every African American considering pursuit of a doctoral degree.