Uptown Top Ranking: From a Council Estate to the Academy

Wilson, Marcia A. (2023). Uptown Top Ranking: From a Council Estate to the Academy. In: Reilly, I. B. ed. The Lives of Working Class Academics. Leeds: Emerald Publishing, pp. 89–100.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80117-057-420221007


This chapter will examine the intersectionality of race, class and gender as defining my experience of being a Black, working-class woman in academia over a 30-year period in the United States and United Kingdom. Drawing on Critical Race Theory (Delgado & Stefancic, 2013) as the framework for positionality, early childhood experiences will be discussed along with my entry and journey in academia. My early experiences are important to document as they are influential in defining my working-class heritage. I will also discuss the importance of intersecting issues related to being a Black working-class woman such as my accent and the politics of my hair in the academy. There are unique challenges faced by Black working-class women, so I conclude with some personal tips for staying in academia.

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