Dr Boyce

Dr Boyce Watkins: The most racist teacher I ever met and how I kicked his ass

Dr Boyce Watkins: The most racist teacher I ever met and how I kicked his ass

In this video, I talk about a racist experience I had at The University of Kentucky as a college sophomore. I had an economics professor who refused to give me the grade I deserved, no matter how hard I worked.

Not only would the man not give me the grade I earned, he gave me HORRIBLE evalutions on every test and homework assignment. Despite practically memorizing my tetbook and working as hard as I could, he kept giving me terrible grades. When I asked him what I needed to do in order to get a better grade, he had nothing to say. It was frustrating.

This was one of those old school professors at The University of Kentucky.  This is the same campus where the governor once stated that no black person would ever attend that school.  It is the place where AB “Happy” Chandler used to regularly use the n-word during board of trustees meetings.  They have a medical center named after this racist till this very day, which shows how much the campus can come to admire some of the most hateful bigots imaginable.

But the experience with this racist professor taught me a few things about racism in America and how to overcome it. It taught me how to persevere for what I wanted, and to never give up. It also taught me how America works for young black men and why I had to find a way to make myself economically, educationally, and spiritually independent in order to overcome the racial oppression around me.

Let’s be clear: White people are probably NOT going to start hiring black people all of a sudden. Racism won’t get much better any time soon, since structural racism (the greatest obstacle for black people) isn’t even being addressed.  Even having a black president has done almost nothing for the masses of black people who are the most unemployed, the most likely to be murdered, attending the worst schools and being sent to prison more than anyone else (even when we commit the same crimes).   This is America, and those who choose to live here have to deal with what’s in front of us.

So, the only solution for those of us who refuse to bow to the grasp of racism is to buckle down, figure it out and take down the SOBs who try to keep us from getting what we want.  One thing I figured out early in life is that no white man ever kept me from picking up a book.  Despite our condition and our challenges, there are many variables that we can choose (or choose not) to control.

Never give up on yourself, you’re too good for that.


Dr Boyce

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