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31 U.S.F. L. Rev. 975 (1996-1997)
Making Traditional Courses More Inclusive: Confessions of an African American Female Professor Who Attempted to Crash All the Barriers at Once

handle is hein.journals/usflr31 and id is 987 raw text is: Making Traditional Courses More
Inclusive: Confessions of an African
American Female Professor Who
Attempted to Crash All the Barriers
at Once
By ANGELA MAE KUPENDA*
66W   E MUST DISMANTLE all barriers at once!' No, go slow! These
were two of the opposing cries heard during, the civil rights move-
ment. Some thought the only way to eliminate exclusiveness, based on race
and gender, was to dismantle all the barriers all at once. Others thought the
costs of such change too great and urged for caution and patience. Even in
the 1990s, barriers of exclusiveness continue to exist, even in the law
school classroom. Here I share my story of how, as a beginning law school
professor, I tried to bring change to the law school classroom. I was moti-
vated by one of my favorite poems where the poet tells of a black and
brave, young male soul who also tried to crash all the barriers forcefully,
quickly, and at once. The poem applauds the black inan who tried to go for
a swim on a southern white beach in the nude.1
Introduction
Many times during my first semester of law school teaching I felt like
the young black man in Alice Walker's poem might have felt: obvious,
*  Assistant Professor, Mississippi College School of Law. J.D., with special distinction,
Mississippi College School of Law; M.A., University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School; B.S.,
summa cum laude, Jackson State University. I thank all of my students (especially the students in
my Contracts class) and all of my formal and informal teachers (especially the faculty at my law
school who once were my professors and who now are my colleagues). I give special thanks for
the support of two A+ teachers, my mother Minnie L. Perkins Dorsey Moore and my aunt
Evelyn Gertrude Perkins, and an A+ friend, Attorney Winston L. Kidd.
1. See ALIcE WALKER, IN SEARCH OF OUR MOTHERS' GARDIENS 335 (1983). Unfortunately,
the poem could not appear here in the text. Although permission was obtained to print the poem in
this journal, permission could not be obtained to reproduce the poem in the essay on microfilm or
computerized databases. Please read the complete poem, however, in Walker's book to capture its
full meaning and relevance to this essay.

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