Abdul Ali

Campus Visit

On the day of your interview a full itinerary is prepared. Jokingly, you wonder if you should have


requested potty breaks. Never has your day been this structured. About six or seven hours of back-to-back


meetings. During lunch you meet the only Black faculty member in English who is leaving. You don’t


think anything of it except that the coincidence is more than ironic. You try to make small talk. You want


to gauge if there is any coded language from the “sista”  that says Get Out. Do not succumb to this Sunken


Place. Instead, you get an unexpected quiz during lunch from the Black faculty member. “How will you


as a Black man teach these privileged kids how to read Black literature as universal?” Before I can


respond, she cuts me off—they will laugh at the dialect; they will laugh at you; they will ask you to read


in dialect; they will make you their—