Not Like the Others: An Auto-Ethnographic Interrogation of Transgressive Achievement

W. E. B DuBois's theory of "the veil" explores the concept of Black relegation as a matter of course. Symptomatic of the experience of "the veil" is a hyperawareness of physical blackness, a white nationalist resentment of black identification as an "American," and a kind of self-inflicted immobility brought about by internalized notions of ethnic inferiority. This groundbreaking explication of the symptoms of systemic racism is, nonetheless, incomplete. DuBois's consistent employment of masculine pronouns to denote the marginalized, vailed object implies that the struggle is solely a masculine one, and that the silenced "she" cannot and should not be concerned with the Black transition from alien object to American subject. The woman's absence is symptomatic of the patriarchal reflex which warfare, even that against social and ethnic inequality, often initiates. As feminist scholar Cynthia Enlo explains, "In narratives of wartime and revolution, women are presumed to be confined to 'the Homefront.' They are (merely) 'the protected.' They are the (silent) 'grieving.' They are the (voiceless, idea-less) 'victims'" ( Thus, DuBois's disposal of Black women is counterproductive, not simply because it perpetuates their twofold oppression but because it troubles DuBois's definition of ethnic equality. Entering the conversation begun in Hooks' "Talking Race and Racism." My lyrical auto-ethnography reimagines and employs as an analytic the concept of "the veil," recognizing the visibly disabled Black woman's position on the front lines of the battle for socio-academic equality.Through a synthesis of Critical Race, Disability Studies, and Feminist theories, I, through my lived experience, write the black Woman out of erasure