Aspiring broadcast journalist Chandra Fleming describes crying in a bathroom stall after her "most embarrassing moment at Michigan State."
The sophomore from Detroit writes in The State News campus paper that the instructor of an on-air announcing, interviewing and hosting class critiqued her hairstyle (right) as unprofessional.
Yes, I know that appearance matters in broadcast, but it’s a thin line between being helpful and just being rude.
Calling me out in front of my predominantly white class, insisting that I need to change my hair because it's not suitable enough for broadcast is degrading. ...
Telling me I look like a 12-year-old in a mocking manner instead of trying to help me is beyond giving critical feedback. It's coming for my character, and it's not fair.
Fleming's 13-paragraph column Friday at the student daily, where she became a reporter in January, decsribes the unnamed instructor as a black woman. Online information shows that the class, JRN 303, is led this semester by graduate teaching assistant Linda White, a doctoral candidate.
Deadline Detroit requested her response in a Friday night email, but White hasn't replied yet.
The Detroit undergraduate, a Detroit Free Press summer intern after finishing Renaissance High School in 2018, cites the instructor's race as a factor in her unease.
As a black woman myself, I should want to feel welcomed and looked up to you, but I can’t. The simple fact is I am being treated wrongly by my own kind in the worst way possible. ...
Being one of the only black kids in a class taught by a black professor who is treating you worse than everybody else . . . hits deep. ...
I am surrounded by people who don’t look like me. And now, when I am around somebody who does look like me, I am being treated the worst.
It honestly makes you feel small to be in a space where you can’t feel comfortable. I’ve gotten over the stigma of being the only black girl in the class, but now I am in a position where I am one of the only black girls in the class who gets ridiculed the most by her black professor. ...
Here I am . . . a black woman trying to better myself and get an education in a predominantly white space, being ridiculed for my hair, my personality and the way I talk and dress by another black woman.