The Table: Stories from Black Women in Student Affairs


About The Table

Black women work twice as hard to have a seat at the infamous table. The table that once we have a seat at, we are told to be grateful for or else we could lose it—back to the kitchen, preparing meals that we may never have the pleasure of sitting down and enjoying. We are given no plate. No utensils. No napkin to clean up those accidental spills.

Instead of waiting for a seat at a table where we would have to compromise our stories or have them told by those who have not walked our paths, we decided to build our own table and invited some of our sisters to sit with us and indulge in its spread. This book is an anthology of the various trials and triumphs 11 Black women encountered while working in the student affairs sector of higher education. We are connected by our experiences navigating in spaces where we have sometimes felt disempowered, but we have learned the trade of maneuvering in a professional environment, and world, dominated by White people.

This is just the beginning. We will be adding more chairs, assembling more tables and inviting others in our communities to have a seat where they’d like. No more unfulfilled appetites and unseasoned dishes. No more scrapes from biting our tongues. At this table, we define spaces. We center conversations. We invite fellowship. We serve you food for your soul and truth elixir for your thirst.

Sierra Hairston and Ashley Young-Waters, Co-founders of The Table Books


“I come as one, but stand as 10,000.”

—maya angelou