After a year of observing, gathering and analyzing information from interviews with faculty, staff and students, Prof. Fosu was able to document that African-American professors and administrators are in fact almost never hired at URI (African-American and Latino faculty are represented at 3.3% and 2.8% respectively (Dr. Harry Alston, 2020). The most notable asphyxiation of a Black man by the senior White leadership at URI was Dr. Harry Alston, whose death as a candidate at URI was by a firm and subtle chokehold. Professor Louis Fosu sent a letter to URI’s leadership (click to download Mary letter). After the President, Interim Chief Diversity Officer and leadership of URI received Professor Fosu’s explicit critical letter complaining about Dr. Harry Alston’s asphyxiation and death at URI as a job candidate, Professor Fosu was offered a job as an Interim Director of the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies—which Fosu turned down diplomatically and respectfully (click to download Rolle email).
Professor Fosu observed that preeminent African-Americans who are erudite civil rights experts are targeted and deemed threats to existing structurally racist policies at URI, and they are systematically eliminated as job applicants even when they are more knowledgeable, qualified and impressively outshine all other candidates at job interviews, as were the recent cases of: Dr. Harry Alston and Dr. Sylvia Spears in 2020.
Compliant Blacks or people of color who do not have a direct lineage to slavery in America—the land of the free, like Professor Louis Kwame Fosu, will most likely get the high paying job at URI and in other American institutions, but not the brilliant scholarly African-American whose ancestors have suffered death through slavery to build this community and country. Witnessing the Dr. Alston and Dr. Spears interview processes was an obscene display of systemic racism at URI supported by a cadre of African-Americans, who were coincidentally given promotions after their support and complicity of silence in these gut-wrenching deaths of their own.