It’s beginning to get to the point where YouTube is my main source of television when I want to see images that I can relate to. And Tales From Kraka Tower hits the nail right on the head with a comedic look at working in academia.
Tales From Kraka Tower was created by University of South Florida MA student Aphrodite Kocieda, who also stars in the series as Lakisha Wisniewski. During Lakisha’s first day working in the diversity department at Kraka University, she’s welcomed by Dr. Kimball, the school’s self-proclaimed “diversity specialist.”
And this is when I lost my life.
Dr. Kimball is a white woman decked out in a dashiki and kufi. But in all of her blackness regalia, she doesn’t recognize a photo of Angela Davis—“Is she a rapper?”—before asking if Lakisha is “fully black.”
Up until two years ago, I, in fact, worked at a university with a woman JUST LIKE Dr. Kimball. Not that I have a problem with the fact that she wore dashikis, but she purported herself as the “oracle of blackness”. And it wasn’t any farther from the truth.
But anyways, back to this hilarious YouTube series.
Kocieda uses satire in her series to highlight issues that are prevalent in academia: ableism, tokenism, and being treated as “exotic”.
Kocieda hopes the series will “reignite the activist spirit in any minoritized person who feels defeated or depressed because of daily microaggressions.” And it’s these microaggressions that play out every day in an academic environment: “There’s an appropriate way to act, an appropriate way to speak, and appropriate subjects to talk about. There’s a desire to attain prestige through publications, and a desire to quietly settle down through tenure.” And, of course, “There’s a hell of a lot of white people.”
Take a look at the first episode below: