Mentoring in black and white: The intricacies of cross‐cultural mentoring

Juanita Johnson-Bailey*, Ronald M. Cervero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Cross‐cultural mentoring relationships can be sites of struggle around the issues of race, class and gender. In addition, the mentor/protégé relationship offers micro‐cosmic insight into power relations within western society. The authors of this paper, a black woman associate professor and a white male professor, use the example of their mentoring relationship to illustrate six common issues facing academicians involved in these relationships: (1) trust between mentor and protégé; (2) acknowledged and unacknowledged racism; (3) visibility and risks pertinent to minority faculty; (4) power and paternalism; (5) benefits to mentor and protégé; and (6) the double‐edged sword of ‘otherness’ in the academy. Literature is used for review and critique of mentoring in the academy while offering personal examples to illustrate the complexity and success of a 13‐year mentoring relationship between a duo who began their association as teacher/student.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalMentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


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