I can remember those first few years, always looking for blazers. I was a newly minted Ph.D., and I wanted to look professorial. I was a member of a category of people called “professors” or “academics.” I wasn’t trying to fake it. I was a legitimate member of this category in good standing.

But there were things about being an academic — what they think, do, and value — that set them apart. I wanted to embrace those things.

They like coffee, preferably from independently owned coffee shops. They buy organic food at farmer’s markets and talk about far-off places…


We see a lot of talk about critical race theory in our educational system these days. These conversations have been brewing for some time. Many online personalities such as Christopher Rufo and James Lindsay have done an excellent job building up a groundswell of concern. These concerns have recently spilled over into the mainstream.

Here is a 2020 passage from writer Krystina Skurk:

“Public schools and other educational institutions throughout the nation are pushing critical race theory on unsuspecting students.

Critical race theory is the claim that American institutions, laws, and history are inherently racist. It argues that white people…


Introduction

Over the past several years, police in the United States have come under increased scrutiny. The Black Lives Matter movement and those sympathetic to its cause have charged police with bias against black and brown people. Community leaders, scholars, and activists assert that American policing practices overpolice black and brown neighborhoods, and are overly aggressive towards black and brown people.

The high-profile deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and other people of color have turned what used to be a concern only within black and brown communities into a national problem. In 2020, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s…


I am a professor at a university in the American South. I am in my sixth year there. In that time, I have served on numerous hiring committees. For readers outside of academia, hiring a new faculty member is an extensive vetting process that can take several months. You are hiring someone who may be there for decades. After being a member of so many committees, I have gained a good understanding of the hiring process.

I am also a black faculty member. I have observed with keen interest the often-ineffective efforts at my university to recruit black faculty. I…


There is no debate that children growing up in single-parent homes have poorer outcomes than those in two-parent homes. These outcomes include poorer health, more problems sleeping, participation in organized sports, involvement in crime, and educational attainment. There is disagreement about the magnitude of these differences, but there is too much research out there to deny that children in single-parent homes have poorer outcomes than children in two-parent homes.

Conservatives like to point to this link and make a cultural and political argument. The cultural argument is that traditional families fare better in so many ways, and alternative families are…


We live in an age of influencers — people with large social media footprints giving their opinions on products, people, and politics. An influencer’s positive reviews of products and people become endorsements. Their particular take on a social issue today becomes tomorrow’s talking point for their followers.

A paradigmatic example is Marques Brownlee. Brownlee is a reviewer of technology products and is one of the most-watched YouTubers globally, with over 14 million subscribers. His words matter. He has influence.

Marquees Brownlee is a popular YouTube influencer with over 14 million subscribers: (1) Marques Brownlee — YouTube

Brownlee did not become an influencer through earning a credential associated with technology. He was not working in an institution trusted…


For most of my life, I have seen myself as pro-life, but not to the point that I would support a law banning abortions. But with the Supreme Court refusing to block an anti-abortion law in Texas, limiting abortion to no later than six weeks after a person becomes pregnant has forced me to think more about my stance.

An Orientation to Life Preservation

I am against the death penalty. While I am not a pacifist, I see no reason for the United States to be a military aggressor. I find it insane that police in America kill so many…


For many in society, the answer to this is a flat “No.”

I can describe some of the reasons why. Some may say that students with sociology degrees don’t have any marketable skills. It is just a major that talks about race and gender issues, and other than the one diversity officer who gets hired in every company, what else can you do with it?

My answer is also no.

If someone only wants to get a degree in sociology, don’t. If, however, you are interested in one of the topics that sociologists study, then learn as much as you…


August is the month where students wrap up their summer vacation and begin their college year. Even though we are still in a pandemic, the rituals of a new year are still around us. People are buying new laptops, books, and clothes. The scramble for affordable apartments and student housing is underway. People are spending their last days with family members and hometown friends. This is a time of hope — even if we are masking up again because of the Delta Variant.

Here are three tips for new and returning students looking to get off to a good start.


The Need For Male Role Models

The Lack of Expectations

My teenage years were devoid of male role models. My parents split up permanently when I was about 10. I only had sporadic contact with my father after that, and I had no brothers. Most of my cousins who lived near me were female, and all my uncles except one were living in other parts of the country.

I was a boy in a woman’s world.

My mother, grandmother, older female cousins, and aunts taught me everything they knew through their eyes as Southern black women. …

Roderick Graham

Rod is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Old Dominion University. https://www.youtube.com/c/roderickgraham

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store