“did being black introduce bias into your study?”: Attempting to mute the Race-Related research of black scholars


In a previous study by Hendrix, qualitative methods were used to examine the perceptions held by professors and students regarding (a) how professors engage in communication to build their classroom credibility and (b) the influence of professors' race on the establishment of their credibility. After completing this study, one question was continually asked of me (above all others from student participants, fellow graduate students, and professors) as an African American female researcher, "Do you think that being Black introduced bias into your study?" In this article, I explore the methodological issues of validity and reliability associated with being a Black woman in academia who chooses to investigate the influence of professors' race on university classroom interactions. Using the previous study and the fairly recent movement in research methodology toward increased researcher reflexivity, I explore the contradictions between the call for such reflexivity and the implicit charges of the absence of objectivity that I experienced as a Black researcher investigating race. © 2002 Taylor & Francis.

Publication Title

Howard Journal of Communications