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Black student calling her professor 'queen' shows the importance of representation

The professor had the most wholesome interaction with one of her students which satisfied the purpose of representation.

Black student calling her professor 'queen' shows the importance of representation
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | fauxels; X | @AngelJonesPhD

Representation is vital for fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion across society, particularly for Black women. By seeing themselves reflected in fields like media, politics, business and academia, they feel validated and empowered. Their contributions enrich conversations, challenge stereotypes, and inspire future generations. In addition, the representation of Black women promotes better understanding and removes outdated notions, allowing them to thrive and uplift each other. Author and educator Angel Jones—who goes by @AngelJonesPhD on X—shared such an insightful post detailing an encounter with one of her students, highlighting the importance of representation of Black women in academia. The post has gone viral, garnering over 3 million views and 58K likes on the platform.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | fauxels
Representative Image Source: Pexels | fauxels


 

Jones begins the post by recalling how one of her female undergraduate students walks into her class at 9.30 in the morning in a state of being "physically present, but mentally still in bed." The girl steps in and as soon as she sees Jones, her face immediately lit up as she greets her and says, "Hey Queen!" The educator clarifies, "While some may consider her greeting disrespectful because she didn't call me Dr. Jones, it wasn't." Jones replied to her post and explained, "Being called 'Queen' by a Black woman is one of the greatest displays of respect & praise."



 

She expresses how the whole incident makes her "heart smile." Then she points out how the young student walks into class to "see herself in someone that she knows also sees the queen in her." Jones shares in a final reply that she went through a difficult day but is reminded of the power of representation and just how important it is for many students to feel represented by seeing her in the classroom. She says, "For many Black girls, I am the 1st Black woman professor they've ever had, so when they see me, they don't just see what I've done but what they can do. They are my 'why.'"



 



 

Readers shared their views on academic representation in the comments. @aschwortz shared, "I used to get annoyed when students called me 'Miss' instead of 'Prof' or 'Dr. Schwortz' because I thought they were denigrating my honors. Turns out I didn't realize it is a term of respect among many Black/Brown/inner city US people, and I had to get over my cultural imperialism." @MissSnider11 commented, "It's kind of like when students call a teacher 'Mom,' it makes my heart swell a bit because you know they feel safe with you."



 

@RedGhostLover said, "My very first teacher was a black woman. I am white. Mrs. Pittman. She left an indelible impression on me. She was smart, kind, and 100% non-nonsense. I loved her. My best friend and I went back to that school every school year until she retired to see her." @XyanNeider expressed, "Yes! I love every word of this thread. 100% absolutely! I didn't have my first Black educator until grad school. GRAD SCHOOL! To say it did my heart and soul good is a gross understatement."

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