Black, Brown, Bruised

Black, Brown, Bruised How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation

Ebony Omotola McGee, Foreword by David Omotoso Stovall
paper, 208 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-535-6
Price: $32.00

Add to Cart

Request an Examination Copy

2022 PROSE Award Finalist

Drawing on narratives from hundreds of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous individuals, Ebony Omotola McGee examines the experiences of underrepresented racially minoritized students and faculty members who have succeeded in STEM. Based on this extensive research, McGee advocates for structural and institutional changes to address racial discrimination, stereotyping, and hostile environments in an effort to make the field more inclusive.


Black, Brown, Bruised tells the whole story. Most scholarship on STEM access narrowly focuses on test performances, as if the result were without a cause. Dr. McGee’s brilliant narrative weaves together research on psychology, education, learning sciences and science to warn us of the critical mistake STEM makes by remaining an exclusionary space. This brilliant, timely, and visionary book takes a one-of-a-kind exploration into the intersectional forces that impede the progress of STEM. — Bryan A. Brown, professor of teacher education, Stanford University

In this ground-breaking book, McGee takes up the issue of race and STEM from a decidedly critical stance, and in doing so, she calls into question the assumptions and goals of STEM education, and the white supremacist ideology underlying it. In a theoretically brilliant way, she crafts a new future for STEM—one that links widening STEM opportunity to increased innovation, and better ways of being responsible global citizens. — Na'ilah Suad Nasir, president, Spencer Foundation

Ebony Omotola McGee is positioning herself to be one of the towering voices in STEM education research in the United States. Based on years of considerable research, she pinpoints the many challenges, pitfalls, and, more importantly, successes of Black and Brown students and faculty in predominately white STEM domains. Black, Brown, Bruised is certainly destined to be a classic for researchers, administrators, and educators who are interested in broadening participation in STEM. — James L. Moore III, vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer, The Ohio State University

Overall, the book is impressively expansive in its discussion of theories and empirical evidence that address the macro-level structure of systemic racism, as well as the micro-level daily experiences of URM students in STEM fields, while also providing clear directions for making improvements across the spectrum. — Teachers College Record

Black, Brown, Bruised highlights the plights and detrimental stresses that minority groups have to face on a daily basis that others might not be aware of. Although McGee’s case studies and stories focus on a US context, I think her insights are equally useful for people elsewhere, particularly those who might not realise what prejudices minority groups encounter everywhere. I would say that even people not working in Stem may gain a lot of insight by reading McGee’s work; it definitely does bring fuel to the fire in the push for equity. — Chemistry World

Black, Brown, and Bruised challenges STEM educators—and not only them—to deal openly and honestly with the racism that currently dominates all too many of STEM programs. McGee’s volume certainly fills a space that needed to be filled with the book’s role as an internal critique of the limits and effects of these programs and as a suggestive guide to changes that would make a difference. This book has been published at exactly the right time. — Educational Policy

More Less

About the Author

As an associate professor of diversity and STEM education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, I investigate what it means to be racially marginalized while minoritized in the context of learning and achieving in STEM higher education and in the STEM professions. I study in particular the racialized experiences and racial stereotypes that adversely affect the education and career trajectories of underrepresented groups of color. This involves exploring the social, material, and health costs of academic achievement and problematizing traditional forms of success in higher education, with an unapologetic focus on Black folk in these places and spaces. My National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grant investigates how marginalization undercuts success in STEM through psychological stress, interrupted STEM career trajectories, impostor phenomenon, and other debilitating race-related trauma for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx doctoral students.

Education is my second career; I left a career in electrical engineering to earn a PhD in mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago, and a NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University. I cofounded the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative or EDEFI (pronounced “edify,” ). I also cofounded the Institute in Critical Quantitative and Mixed Methodologies Training for Underrepresented Scholars (ICQCM), which aims to be a go-to resource for the development of quantitative and mixed-methods skillsets that challenge simplistic quantifications of race and marginalization ( ICQCM receives support from the NSF, the Spencer Foundation, and the W. T. Grant Foundation.

My research has been featured in prominent media outlets, including The Atlantic, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, NPR’s Codeswitch, The Hechinger Report, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, US News & World Report, Inside Higher Education, Tennessean, and The UK Voice Online.

Table of Contents


Discussion Questions

Blog Post: "Equity Ethic: As STEM Fields Become More Racially Diverse, New Values Emerge"


Other books in Race and Equity in Education

Restorative Resistance in Higher Education

Richard J. Reddick, Foreword by Colette Pierce Burnette

Other books in Race and Equity in Education

Hope and Healing

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr.

Other books in Race and Equity in Education

The Double Bind in Physics Education

Maria Ong, Foreword by Shirley M. Malcom

Books From This Author