Citation ethics and the politics of co-authorships in the academy have both gendered and racialized components. According to a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, For men and women, solo authored articles have the same likelihood of earning them tenure. But, for co-authored articles, women earn less credit toward tenure than men do. Not only is there a gender gap in credit given for group work, women with children are also less likely to earn tenure than men with children and, across social sciences and natural sciences alike, women are less likely to be cited by their peers. These data show that, from the most visible vantage points of the outside world, women remain under-acknowledged, underrepresented, and systematically overlooked in the Academy. These realities only worsen when one considers race, class, ability, and other personal characteristics.
As a Black woman academic, I believe that citing Black women is necessary not just to overcome the norms and obstacles I have outlined above but to also reorient our myriad disciplines toward structural inclusion. This is a form of inclusion that isn’t just performative, trendy, and taken up when convenient for institutions. Rather, structural inclusion requires that Black women’s work and contributions be considered as foundational to our various fields and formative to the scholarship in our ranks. It requires that all scholars, not just women of color, practice introspection and deliberateness in the creation of their syllabi, course content, articles, and book manuscripts to account for the generations of work that Black women have labored, pushing Academia forward. This is not just about being seeing and heard. It is about making space and holding it for the many Black women scholars who are coming after us.I decided to support this collective because I have a moral commitment to the ideals of supporting those most marginalized within the systems and institutions I encounter everyday.
Following in the theoretical and philosophical precepts of foremothers like the members of the Combahee River Collective, Kimberle Crenshaw, Fannie Lou Hamer, Angela Y. Davis, Shirley Chisholm, Patricia Hill Collins, Audre Lorde, Cathy J. Cohen, Barbara Ransby, and so many others, my work is animated by the belief that none of us are free until all of us are free. In my work, I seek to center the voices and experiences of Black women so as to move us toward freedom. In the end, each of us is but an archive of our experiences, our choices, and our chances. Through the Cite Black Women Collective, I hope to contribute to amplifying the archive of Black women’s experiences, highlighting how our scholarly choices have shaped our disciplines, and recognizing that this movement is a chance for us to disrupt the status quo which seeks to quiet us all.