The Vermont Connection


Using Angela Davis’ (2016) conversational interview style writing approach, we discuss how we, as two Black women early career scholars, experience, facilitate, and find joy, hope, and optimism in the face of hostility in academe. In tandem with songs of promise and perseverance by Black women creatives, we reveal how music connects to and helps to provide color for our professional and personal journeys, often contextualizing how we understand, negotiate, and persist within our chosen profession. With some consideration to the soundtracks of our lives, three major questions guided our writing: (1) Where within your teaching and research do you facilitate and experience joy?; (2) How does being a Black woman faculty member influence and/or shift how you think about joy within the academy?; and (3) How has the current system enabled you to positively and effectively negotiate hope and joy (e.g. flexibility, summer off, etc.)?