Miss American Terrorist: A Critical Racial Analysis of the Crowning of Miss America


On September 17, 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first African American contestant to win the crown in the history of the Miss America Pageant. Thirty years later, on September 15, 2013, the Miss America Pageant accomplished another monumental first by crowning the first Indian American contestant ever to win the pageant, Nina Davuluri. Despite the 30 years between the first event and the second, during which society made advances in technology, science, global relations, and—one would have hoped—race relations, both events resulted in the spewing of racist commentary. The racist commentary from both events serves as a sign of the deeply embedded white supremacist discourses that continue to surround concepts such as citizenship, patriotism, and beauty that both Vanessa Williams and Nina Davuluri represented when they won the title of Miss America.

As evidenced by the history of the Miss America Pageant as well as many other aspects of our personal and social lives, racism continues to shape our lived experiences. Race scholars theorize about how racism continues to evolve and create inequities in our society. Some race scholars, such as Tatum (27), argue that racism has become so ubiquitous and obscure that it is like smog in the air, with all members of a given society breathing it in daily; the toxins that are poisoning us are more obvious on some days than on other days. Other scholars make arguments like that of Kynard: “There is never any moment when racism is subtle or exists as some kind of fine mist that is out there but that I cannot fully see…” (3). With advancements in digital technology such as the Internet, social media in particular, racism is arguably becoming more publicly visible, whether through the reporting and sharing of racist incidents or the uncensored racist comments that anonymous users post on websites. Using this digital information as race data, the Internet provides a platform for scholars, students, and the public to rhetorically engage the topic of racism. This chapter examines the racial rhetoric of the Miss America Pageant and the crowning of the 2014 Miss America: Nina Davuluri.

Digital Challenges to Race

As stated in the introduction to this book, the Internet can serve as a means of challenging dominant media representations and discourse. One such example is the physical and digital exhibit titled “Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation” hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Screenshot of the Beyond Bollywood site, showing a family in front of a car
Figure 1: Screenshot of digital exhibit home page

Within the physical space at the museum, as well as the online digital exhibit, visitors from around the world learn about Indian American heritage, experiences, achievements, and contributions to U.S. society. The important contributions showcased include Indian Americans’ help building the intercontinental railroad and their significant role in farming, especially in the western United States. The exhibit points out that Indian Americans make up 1 percent (3.3 million people) of the U.S. population, yet their accomplishments are disproportionate to their numbers: 73 percent of the winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee have been Indian American, 10 percent of medical doctors in the U.S. are Indian American, and one third of the taxi drivers in New York City are Indian American. The exhibit also highlights individuals who have achieved monumental firsts in U.S. history, including Brandon Chillar (the first Indian American NFL player and Super Bowl champion); Hargobind Khorana (the first Indian American to win a Nobel Prize); and Nina Davuluri (the first Indian American to win the Miss America Pageant).

An Indian woman wearing a Miss America sash
Figure 2: Nina Davuluri

Digital Racism

Positive public representations of Indian Americans such as those on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's physical and digital sites can be difficult to find. In media, including social media, Indian Americans are absent, grossly stereotyped, or blatantly ridiculed. A recent case of such ridicule was when Nina Davuluri won the crown in the 2014 Miss America Pageant. Social media immediately erupted with racist and xenophobic reactions. Some tweets included: “And the Arab wins Miss America. Classic,” “Ummm wtf?! Have we forgotten 9/11?,” “How the f*** does a foreigner win miss America? She is a Arab!”, and “More like Miss Terrorist.” While Nina Davuluri took the criticism well, these reactions provide an opportunity to critically analyze the role of race in the Miss America Pageant as well as the larger society. As such, the purpose of this chapter is to 1) provide a historical overview of the Miss America Pageant and its treatment of race, 2) deconstruct the racist social media that emerged during the 2014 Miss America competition, 3) situate the racist commentary within a sociopolitical context in which racial discourses circulate through media and inform the racist society in which we live, and 4) identify this and other racial data from the Internet that can be analyzed in the college classroom.

Overview of the Miss America Pageant

What does it mean to be an American? What is beauty? Answers to these questions can be as diverse as the people who make up the U.S. While it is difficult to conceptualize abstract concepts such as “American” and “beauty,” that is exactly what the Miss America Pageant sets out to do every year as a set of judges apply these terms to young adult females in the process of identifying exactly one woman who represents the epitome of American beauty. As stated by Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce President Frederick Hickman, “Miss America represents the highest ideals. She is a real combination of beauty, grace, and intelligence, artistic and refined. She is a type which the American Girl might well emulate” (Miss America History).

The Miss America Pageant had its beginnings in Atlantic City, NJ. The first pageant took place in 1921, when the city was looking to profit from the tourism industry by extending the tourism season for an additional week. The pageant took place the second week in September and served as a tourist attraction. Since then, it has gone through many changes and has come to symbolize much more. Over the years, the Miss America Pageant instituted several components of the competition beyond the evaluation of physical attributes, including a talent portion and a platform for competitors to address a social interest as well as the establishment of a scholarship award for the winner.

A line of women entering a pageant
Figure 3: Contestants of first Miss America Pageant

While the pageant has always drawn attention and a public following, it has not been wholly supported by U.S. society. From the beginning (the late 1920s), women’s clubs and religious organizations publicly attacked the Miss America Pageant for objectifying women and corrupting morality. Hamlin states that part of the problem with the pageant from the beginning was that it perpetuated conservative notions of women that did not represent the complex lived experiences of actual women (30). Hamlin states, “In concert with the traditional images of women promoted by government and advertising, and in stark contrast to images of female politicians, professionals, and flappers, the Miss America Pageants of the 1920s celebrated small, passive, nonthreatening women with little or no interest in remaining in the public eye” (32). As a result of the numerous attacks against the pageant, and fearing that the controversy would ruin Atlantic City’s reputation, the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce voted to cancel the pageant in 1928. In the ensuing years, Atlantic City experienced a devastating economic depression that brought the tourist economy to a halt. Facing these grim economic conditions, the pageant leaders decided to start the pageant again in 1933. During these years, there were very few rules in terms of choosing the winner of the title, so winner selection tended to be based on body measurements and what judges considered beauty.

A woman carrying a sign reading 'All women are beautiful'
Figure 4: NOW members protesting the pageant

Bringing more structure to the pageant, Lenora Slaughter held the position of director of the pageant from 1935 to 1967. In this newly created position, Slaughter developed strict rules and regulations for judging the contestants (Kinloch 96). Even with the structure Slaughter provided, the pageant received more public criticism from the National Organization for Women (NOW). In 1968 NOW members marched with picket signs outside the building where the event was taking place and from which it was being televised live (the event was first televised in 1954 and is currently one of the longest-televised programs in U.S. history). The pageant reached its peak television audience in 1970, and viewership began to gradually decline after that. (For a comprehensive overview of the history of the Miss America Pageant, please refer to the PBS American Experience documentary Miss America).

A Historical Look at Race and the Miss America Pageant

The Miss America Pageant has traditionally reinforced a racist view of what is considered beautiful, as in its first fifty years the pageant was open only to white female participants. While the pageant has since allowed women of other races to participate and has even crowned several African American women over the past few decades, it still fails to represent and recognize the vast diversity of the U.S. population. This narrow view is a reflection of the racism in U.S. society and also serves to reinforce racist discourse in our society, as became evident when Indian American Nina Davuluri won the 2014 Miss America Pageant.

Though the pageant started off with no clear definition of beauty beyond physical measurements and appeal to the judges, it nonetheless reflected what mainstream society’s idea of beauty was, and that was “white.” Indeed, in its first several decades the pageant was entirely white, including all participants, winners, and judges. One of the many rules and regulations Lenora Slaughter established in the 1940s consisted of a racial profile for the contestants that stated, “Contestant must be in good health and of the white race” (Kinloch 96). Not until several decades later did the first few nonwhite contestants compete for the crown, and they included Mifaunwy Sunatona (Native American), Irma Nydia Vasquez (Puerto Rican) and Yun Tau Zame (Asian) (Kinloch 96). In 1969 the pageant appointed its first black judge, Dr. Zelma George, director of the Cleveland Job Corps for Women (Kinloch 96). The following year, the pageant had its first two African American contestants after having excluded African Americans from participating for nearly fifty years. (The Miss America website provides a complete list of past winners since 1921, including photographs and profiles.)

Saundra Williams as Miss Black America
Figure 5: Miss Saundra Williams

In 1968, while white NOW members were protesting the pageant outside the live show, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sponsored the first Miss Black America Pageant, which occurred right after the live taping of the Miss America Pageant. Miss Saundra Williams, an eighteen-year-old college student, won the first Miss Black America Pageant (Kinloch 96). This event prompted the Miss America Pageant to face its racially exclusionary policies and sparked slow changes. In 1970 the pageant had its first African American contestant, and in the next decade, 10 African American contestants competed for the crown, with only one of these women ever making it to the top five. Not until 1983 did the pageant crowned its first Black Miss America, Vanessa Williams. It was a monumental win for Vanessa Williams, and she has been the most popular Miss America with the most bookings for appearances, but she received death threats and hate mail, and when she traveled, especially in the American South, she had to have guards posted at her hotels.

Vanessa Williams as Miss Black America
Figure 6: Vanessa Williams

Thirty years after Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America, in 2013, the pageant crowned its first Indian American, Nina Davuluri, and despite its being 30 years later, this brought racist reactions as well as xenophobic ones. However, unlike when Vanessa Williams won, the racist commentary regarding Nina Davuluri was both immediate and open to public viewing as people used Twitter to post their racist responses. In the following section, I discuss some of the racist and xenophobic social media reactions to Nina Davuluri’s win.

The 2014 Miss America Winner: Nina Davuluri

In 2014, Nina Davuluri not only won the crown for the Miss America Pageant, but she also made history by being the first Indian American to win the pageant. Davuluri’s monumental win is evidence of the pageant’s progress over the years in recognizing beauty and talent among the people of diverse races and ethnicities who make up the U.S. population, but the viewing audience did not uniformly welcome the idea of Miss America being Indian American. Internet sites such as Buzzfeed.com and IBN.Live compiled lists of the racist tweets that immediately followed the televised show. Some of these tweets, here organized by topic, were:

Miss Nina Davuluri is an Arab.

“And the Arab wins Miss America. Classic.”; “How the fuck does a foreigner win miss America? She is a Arab! #idiots”; “Miss Arab wins Miss America and the score of the Seattle/SanFran game is 5-0 at the half? What is life?”; “sittin here watching miss Merica and miss New York is a damn Arab. #thanksobama.”

Miss Nina Davuluri is a Muslim.

“A Muslim Arab won miss America. They blow your shot up and you crown them. You bitches backwards”; “This is Miss America, not Miss Muslim.”

Miss Nina Davuluri is not American.

“If you’re Miss America you should have to be American”; “I swear I’m not racist but this is America.”; “Asian or indian are you kiddin this is America omg”; “this is America. Not India”; “Miss New York is an Indian..With all do respect, this is America”; “Egypt dancing? This is America. #MissAmerica.”

Miss Nina Davuluri is a terrorist.

“9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?”; “ABC2020 nice slap in the face to the people of 9-11 how pathetic #missamerica”; “#Miss America ummm wtf??! Have we forgotten 9/11?”; “Miss America right now or miss Al Qaeda?”; “ Congratulations Al-Qaeda. Our Miss America is one of you”; “Miss America is a terrorist. Whatever. It’s fine”; “So miss America is a terrorist.”; More like Miss Terrorist #MissAmerica”.

Other Racist Tweets.

“Miss America? You mean Miss 7-11”; “Miss America is brought to by their sponsors PF Changs and 7-11”; “Miss America, footlong buffalo chicken on whole wheat. Please and thank you.”

Deconstructing the Racist Tweets

Most of the racist tweets called into question Davuluri’s nationalism and patriotism by suggesting that she was not American and, further, that she was anti-American or a terrorist associated with Al Qaeda. However, as per the Miss America Pageant rules, contestants must be U.S. citizens, and Miss Davuluri’s home country is the United States: She was born in Syracuse, NY, but has also lived in Oklahoma and Michigan. Her parents are from Andhra Pradesh, India, which is nowhere near the origin of the majority of the September 11, 2001 hijackers, most of whom were from Saudi Arabia (Abad-Santos). The misconceptions about Davuluri’s nationality, her ancestry, and what religion she practices are also evident in the several statements that refer to her as Arab and Muslim. As Abad-Santos makes clear, Davuluri’s heritage is India, not Saudi Arabian. The distance between these two countries is significant—they are over 3,000 miles apart, “about the distance from Georgia (the state) to Bolivia” (Abad-Santos). Though Islam is not specific to any country, Davuluri is not Muslim, either, but rather Hindu.

Map showing Saudi Arabia and India
Figure 7: Distance Between Saudi Arabia and India

The racist tweets targeting Nina Davuluri represent the racialized sociopolitical context that defines the U.S. The following section highlights this sociopolitical context, including society’s failure to represent Indian Americans in ways that capture their rich, diverse experiences in the U.S.

Understanding Race in the Larger U.S. Context

The racist and xenophobic social media that centered on Nina Davuluri winning the crown for Miss America should not be surprising. The truth is, the U.S. is far from being antiracist. In fact, the more vehemently people deny that racism does exist or claim they do not “see” race (professing a color-blind perspective), the more race and racism remain accepted norms that society fails to denormalize on a massive scale (Bonilla-Silva 73).

In an effort to understand how racism is produced in today’s society, I suggest that we examine the sociopolitical context in which we live. Such an examination shows that the racial status quo is maintained not only through acts of individual racism, but also through institutional and discursive forms of racism (Pimentel 52). Indeed, the racial stereotyping and profiling that emerged when Nina Davuluri won the Miss America title is rooted in the same racialized concepts that are circulated in schools and the media. Despite Indian Americans’ incredible achievements and contributions to U.S. society, they are largely absent from the school curricula and mass media, including textbooks, literature, advertisement, movies, and television shows. In mass media where Indian Americans do appear, they are usually grossly misrepresented, such as in the case of Indian American character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons. This character's speech is based on an exaggerated second-language (L2) accent (Lippi-Greene 46), and he is voiced by a white, monolingual, English-speaking male, Hank Azaria. Apu’s character also works in a stereotyped convenience store: Kwik-E-Mart. As a result of limited Indian American representation through characters like Apu, we see comments in social media that replicate this narrow depiction, such as comments on Twitter in response to Nina Davuluri’s win like “Miss America? You mean Miss 7-11” or “Miss America is brought to by their sponsors PF Changs and 7-11.”

Image of the Simpson's character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
Figure 8: Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

From the above reference to PF Chang’s (a Chinese restaurant) as well as the many comments that variously referred to Nina Davuluri as Arab, Muslim, a terrorist, and a member of Al Qaeda, and made references to the incidents from 9/11, it is clear that there is no distinction made by the commenters among Asian countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, and India or understanding of the fact that the Middle East includes parts of the continents of Europe and Africa. The tweets that misconstrue Nina Davuluri’s nationality, the blurring of various countries, and the failure to recognize the ethnic, racial, religious, and linguistic diversity within specific countries indicates the lack of awareness of and education that focuses on these issues. India alone contains twenty-eight states in seven different union territories and contains speakers of over two hundred languages and dialects and people whose religions include Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. Indian Americans in the U.S. also have very diverse experiences.

Yet the dominant singular ideas of who Asian or Middle Eastern people are, as well as the lack of distinction between the countries and people in these massive geographic areas, is not surprising given the limited exposure U.S. Americans have to such diversity. Film expert Jack Shaheen examines more than one thousand Hollywood movies and found that Arabs were rarely portrayed as anything more than heartless terrorists. Included in his analysis was the animated movie Aladdin, wherein Arab characters signify all that is villainous. Moreover, the Aladdin narrative carelessly substitutes Indian characters and references for Arab people (see the YouTube analysis of Aladdin for more details). The depiction of Arab people (Indian people are often included) as villains has profound effects in reinforcing the racialization of the society in which we live. Nigerian fiction writer Chimamanda Adichie eloquently addresses “The Danger of a Single Story” in representing the diverse lived experiences of national groups. In her provocative speech, she gives vivid examples of how people often rely on “single stories” to understand both local and distant others. She discusses how she has naively relied on these “single stories” to understand the experiences of others and how others often rely on these “single stories” as they imagine what it is like to be African.

Image of an Arab character from Alladin
Figure 9: Arab character from Aladdin

No doubt a single story has been circulated about Indian Americans, and this resulted in the racist discourses that targeted Nina Davuluri. Even though Davuluri was able to maintain a positive attitude and thrive in her role as Miss America despite the racially hostile environment in which she won, other Indian Americans face relentless discrimination in school and at work. As Gibson’s ethnographic research on Indian American high school students revealed, the Indian American students she spoke with all experienced verbal and physical assaults regularly:

Clearly, the racial profiling and abuse Indian Americans face needs to be addressed. In the following section, I highlight how racism can be addressed in the college classroom through digital media.

Using Digital Media to Address Race in the College Classroom

Racism no doubt impacts students’ college classroom experiences (Kynard 2; Martinez 34; Pimentel, Pimentel, and Dean, in press) as well as university professors’ experiences (Kynard 6). While university professors, including writing professors, have been called upon to diversify their curricular and pedagogical approaches, race scholars have noted that these changes often are superficial and do little to impact social justice. Pimentel (97), for example, states that composition instructors tend to play it safe in their moves to make their classes multicultural, perhaps by adopting multicultural readers as part of their reading lists. Such “safe” attempts to implement diversity in the writing classroom do very little to bring about “the pedagogical changes that are necessary to identify the ways in which students’ cultural knowledge and language practices can be expressed in their writing” (Pimentel 97). Similarly, Kynard (2) points out that while many white students and professors researched people of color, racism persists in college and university settings. Further, Kynard states, “While much of our work that has chronicled the multiple literate lives of students of color has been embraced, it is not clear that the work has actually been mobilized to change classrooms for students of color in schools and colleges” (2).

This chapter suggests that digital media can be used as a means of taking up and addressing racial issues in the writing classroom. Students can do work similar to the racial analysis in this chapter to examine racist incidents as well as the racial commentary that emerges in social media and Internet news sites. Nakagawa and Arzubiaga (108) identify social media as a “laboratory” of racial discourse students can analyze in an effort to develop racial literacy. Focusing on YouTube, Nakagawa and Arzubiaga demonstrate how students can perform a critical discourse analysis (CDA) on the abundance of racial data that appears in original content, responses, and comments on YouTube pages. While Nakagawa and Arzubiaga‘s article highlights the “Asians in the Library” video, wherein a white college student complains about the number of Asian students on the UCLA campus, there is a continuous stream of racist YouTube videos, responses, and comments students can analyze. Just some of the racialized topics students can investigate in YouTube videos as well as other social media sites are racial profiling, police brutality, immigration and the U.S./Mexico border, bilingual education, ethnic studies bans, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, segregation, and the educational achievement gap.

As students examine the racial narratives they encounter on social media sites, they can apply critical media literacy (Share) as a framework for critically analyzing other texts. Critical medial literacy (CML) is an approach to literacy that transforms students from passive consumers of texts to active negotiators who deconstruct and challenge the ideological messages communicated through all sorts of media. In a broad sense, CML “brings an understanding of ideology, power, and domination that challenges relativist and apolitical notions of media education in order to guide teachers and students in their explorations of how power and information are always linked” (Share 14). By applying a CML approach in the classroom, students can interrogate media by asking critical questions of the narratives they scrutinize, some of which include: Whose perspective is represented? Who is featured as the most prominent person in the narrative? Who and what details are omitted? Who is the hero of the story? Who has agency? How are problems solved? and Who is the antagonist? Answers to these questions often shed light on the underlying white supremacist discourses that populate dominant forms of media. Once students recognize these discourses, they can work on writing counternarratives. Antiracist work is a twofold process in which we not only bring attention to the racist discourses at work in our society, but also create spaces to document the perspectives and lived experiences of those who are often silenced, ignored, dismissed, ridiculed, demoralized, and dehumanized in mainstream media.

Works Cited

Abad-Santos, Alexander. “The First Indian-American Miss America Has Racists Very, Very Confused.” The Wire 16 Sept. 2013. <http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2013/09/first-indian-american-miss-America-has-racists-very-very-confused/69439/>. Web.

Adummg. “Racism in Aladdin.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8q11sAg2zg. YouTube, March 2, 2010. Web. February 21, 2017.

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and Racial Inequality in Contemporary America (4th ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014. Print.

“A Lot of People Are Very Upset That an Indian-American Woman Won the Miss America Pageant.” BuzzFeedNews 15 Sept. 2013. <http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/a-lot-of-people-are-very-upset-that-an-indian-american-woman#.bh7BrnmX6>. Web.

Gibson, Margaret. Accommodation Without Assimilation: Sikh Immigrants in an American High School. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988. Print.

Hamlin, Kimberly. “Bathing Suits and Backlash: The First Miss America Pageants, 1921-1927.” There She Is, Miss America: The Politics of Sex, Beauty, and Race in America,s Most Famous Pageant.” Eds. Elwood Watson and Darcy Martin. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. 27-51. Print.

Kinloch, Valerie. “The Rhetoric of Black Bodies: Race, Beauty, and Representation.” There She Is, Miss America: The Politics of Sex, Beauty, and Race in America’s Most Famous Pageant.” Eds. Elwood Watson and Darcy Martin. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. 93-109. Print.

Kynard, Carmen. “Teaching While Black: Witnessing and Countering Disciplinary Whiteness, Racial Violence, and University Race-Management.” LiCS, 3.2 (2015): 1-20. Print.

“Miss America History.” Miss America 14 Aug. 2015. <http://www.missamerica.org/our-miss-americas/miss-america-history.aspx>. Web.

“9 Racist Tweets Against Miss America Nina Davuluri.” IBN.Live 17 Sept. 2013. <http://www.ibnlive.com/news/buzz/9-racist-tweets-against-miss-america-nina-davuluri-639456.html>. Web.

Lippi-Green, Rosina. English With an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States (2nd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge, 2012. Print.

Martinez, Aja. “Critical Race Theory: Its Origins, History, and Importance to Discourses and Rhetorics of Race.” Frame, 27.2 (2014): 9-27. Print.

Martinez, Aja. “A Plea For Critical Race Theory Counterstory: Stock Story versus Counterstory Dialogues Concerning Alejandra’s ‘Fit’ in the Academy.” Composition Studies, 42.2 (2014): 33-55. Print.

Nakagawa, Kathy and Arzubiaga, Angela. “The Use of Social Media in Teaching Race.” Adult Learning, 25.3 (2014): 103-110. Print.

Pimentel, Charise. “Critical Race Talk in Teacher Education Through Movie Analysis: From Stand and Deliver to Freedom Writers.” Multicultural Education, 6.1 (2010): 49-60. Print.

Pimentel, Octavio. “An Invitation to a Too-Long Postponed Conversation: Race and Composition.” Reflections: Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service Learning, 12.2 (2013): 90-103. Print.

Pimentel, Octavio, Charise Pimentel, and John Dean. “The Myth of the Colorblind Writing Classroom: White Instructors Confront White Privilege in Their Classrooms.” Performing Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication. Eds. Condon, Frankie and Young, Vershawn. South Carolina: Parlor Press, In Press.

Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. Dir. Jack Shaheen. Media Education Foundation, 2006. Film.

Shaheen, Jack. Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. Northampton: Olive Branch Press, 2014. Print.

Share, Jeff. Media Literacy is Elementary: Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media. New York: Peter Lang, 2015. Print.

Tatum, Beverly. “Defining Racism: ‘Can We Talk?’.” The Race Reader. Ed. Gilbert Rodman. New York: Routledge, 2014. 25-32. Print.

Author Bio

Charise Pimentel, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Texas State University in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction within the College of Education, where her areas of specialty are race and education, bilingual education, multicultural education, and critical media literacy. The courses she teaches include Multicultural Teaching and Learning, The Politics of Language, Bilingual Education Principles and Practices, and Literacy Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children. She has published widely in top peer-reviewed journals and has contributed several book chapters to edited books. Her most recent works include an edited book, From Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Help: Critical Perspectives on White Authored Narratives of Black Life, and a book, The (Im)possible Multicultural Teacher: A Qualitative Study on White Teachers’ Multicultural Work, that is currently available.