Updated: Apr 30, 2021
I always begin the first day of class with a riddle, “What do you call someone who takes nine years to get through community college?” I wait a minute or so to take a few responses, smile and answer, “You call him doctor.” Community college gave me, a low-income, Black, 18-year-old single father, the kind of opportunity that I could not have received anywhere else. Where else could you spend eight years working on your general education requirements and still end up with a PhD? Community college gives people a second, third, maybe even a sixth, or seventh chance. Community college is a place of direct and indirect almost unfettered activism. Lastly, community college may be the most democratic and egalitarian space within academia. It is a place where everyone is welcome, and if you wish to teach a diverse student body it would be difficult to find as many working-class students of color.