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25206: Davis (reply) to Severe , Kathleen 25162: (fwd) eye contact (fwd)
From: "Davis, Karen" <email@example.com>
The eye-contact dilemma is NOT limited to Haitians. Generally, African American children are taught to not stare adults in the eye (as are people in African & most other global cultures, also). It is not only rude, because it suggests confrontation and thus equality with a superior (adult), but suggests an evil intent: "evil eye." Hiring agents in USA have to be taught not to lower their evaluation of African and African American applicants (and those of many other cultural traditions) on the basis of lowered eyes. It is not shiftiness, but respect.
Karen F. Dimanche Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair, Humanities Department
8425 W. McNichols
Detroit, Michigan 48221, U.S.A.
Marygrove College www.marygrove.edu