Dr. Sanchez is primarily interested in racial representations in the media and in the study of African American history and culture. She worked for a number of years as an editor, broadcast journalist and as a media information specialist. She is also the first president of the Tucson Chapter Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (founded by Gloria Smith) and has served as a State President of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. She has a doctorate is in Comparative Cultural and Literary studies; her masters degree focused on visual culture/art history while her undergraduate studies included Radio and Television.
She has lectured in Tucson and other cities on Black History, racial representations in film, and on African American family history and genealogy. Her wide-ranging background in broadcast and written journalism as well as in public affairs has included employment locally and in the U.S. Army stateside and overseas and in the Arizona National Guard. Her academic writings have been published in two anthologies; she has created political videos and has written and edited books and newsletters for community based associations.
Dr. Sanchez currently teaches Introduction to African Literature, Women, Writers and the Gods (an introduction to black women’s literature), Introduction to African American studies, Blacks in Hollywood, and Film Making of Africa and the African Diaspora (an overview of films made by people of African descent in various parts of the world).
She believes, “It is especially important for today’s young people to be educated in Africana studies subjects because our everyday lives are heavily influenced by race, racism and the impact of centuries of colonialism. However, many people are not exposed to the insightful types of analysis that comes from the view point of the subjugated. Some students believe learning about race and the history of it in America perpetuates racism. I sometimes hear them say ‘if you just don’t talk about it, it will go away’ or that discussing racial history creates racism and bad feelings. But if racial problems and their origins are simply ignored, long-standing, continuing oppressions will persist. Many will continue to perceive ordinary, everyday discriminatory practices as normal, not realizing how they manifest or their impact on the lives of people who are in the minority. The disparity in wealth among races is just one of many statistics clearly indicating something is clearly out of balance! Without black theoretical perspective and history factored into our learning, I don’t believe you can know or understand American history."
She adds, "How can anyone critically assess what is happening today in our society and find solutions with only a portion of the picture?”