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Reprocessing Race, Language and Ability

Harushimana, Immaculée / Ikpeze, Chinwe / Mthethwa-Sommers, Shirley (eds.)

Reprocessing Race, Language and Ability

African-Born Educators and Students in Transnational America

Series: Black Studies and Critical Thinking - Volume 42

Year of Publication: 2013

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt, Oxford, Wien, 2013. XXII, 245 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-1750-3 hb.  (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-4331-1751-0 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.480 kg, 1.058 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book explores the unique experiences of African-born educators and students in North American K-12 classrooms, as well as those of education faculty and administrators. It identifies the conflicting attributes that African-born educators and students bring into American schools and the challenges of working in linguistically, racially and culturally regulated educational spaces. The collected essays examine how attributes assigned to immigrant teachers by the host community of students, colleagues and administrators can serve both as conduits and deterrents for effective teaching. In all, Reprocessing Race, Language and Ability uncovers the existence of unavoidable – though not insurmountable – racial, cultural and linguistic dissonance when African and western cultures come in contact.


Contents: Omiunota N. Ukpokodu: Foreword – Immaculée Harushimana/Chinwe Ikpeze/Shirley Mthethwa-Sommers: Introduction: Telling It Like It Is: Legitimizing the Brains under the Colonial Masks – Omiunota N. Ukpokodu: A Synthesis of Scholarship on African-Born Teacher Educators in U.S. Colleges and Schools of Education – Shirley Mthethwa-Sommers: Teaching against Defensive Moves: A Case Study on the Impact of Identity on Learning – Chinwe Ikpeze: In Retrospect: Navigating Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Teacher Education – Otrude Nontobeko Moyo: Racialization in Higher Education: Experiences of an African-Born Scholar Teaching and Learning in the United States – Zandile P. Nkabinde: A Tale of Two Worlds: A South African Educator’s Journey in the American Academy – Janet T. Awokoya: «They Can’t Teach What They Don’t Know»: Insights from Teacher Professional Development Workshops on Africa – Taiwo Ande: Give Me a Chance, Please! A Self-reflection of Career Trajectory for an African Academic Administrator in American Institutions of Higher Education – Marianne Jacquet/Mambo Tabu Masinda/Danièle Moore/Juvénal Barankenguje: Claiming the Voice of Hope: The School Integration of Sub-Saharan African French-Speaking Children and Youth Immigrants in British Columbia, Canada – Immaculée Harushimana: Foreign-Born Minorities and American Schooling: The African-Born Immigrant Adolescent’s Plea – Mercy Agyepong: Seeking to Be Heard: An African-Born, American-Raised Child’s Tale of Struggle, Invisibility, and Invincibility – Gillian Creese/Edith Ngene Kambere/Mambo Tabu Masinda: Voices of African Immigrant and Refugee Youth: Negotiating Migration and Schooling in Canada – Lombe M. Mwembo: My African Skin Color Weighs More Than My U.S. Degrees: In the Eyes of U.S. Children and School Leaders – Nonye C. Obiora: Foreign or Funny; Not Inferior: An African Educator Navigates Invisible Barriers in Teaching – Serigne Mbaye Gningue: It Takes a Village to Succeed at Teaching: The Trajectory of a Senegalese Mathematics Educator in the United States of America – Immaculée Harushimana: Conclusion: A New Perspective on the Assimilation and Adaptation of African-Born Immigrants.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Immaculée Harushimana received her PhD in English (rhetoric and linguistics) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is Assistant Professor of Language and Literacies at Lehman College, City University of New York. Her publications capitalize on the literacy needs and academic visibility of non-predominant immigrant minorities in urban school settings.
Chinwe Ikpeze is Assistant Professor of Literacy at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York. Dr. Ikpeze’s research centers on literacy instruction and pedagogy, self study, teacher learning and research on African-born students and educators.
Shirley Mthethwa-Sommers is Assistant Professor with the Department of Social and Psychological Foundations of Education and Director of the Frontier Center for Urban Education at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. Her teaching and research is on social justice-oriented education.


«‘Reprocessing Race, Language and Ability’ is reminiscent of Non-native Educators in English Language Teaching (1999), providing a powerful voice to another emerging force in the higher education sector of North America, African born educators and students. Their firsthand accounts, many beginning in Africa and continuing in North America, form a rich tapestry as colorful as their African backgrounds. This pioneering volume provides an opportunity for both experienced and novice scholars to contribute to a common cause. For years to come, this book will prove to be a valuable resource for researchers and scholars.» (George Braine, Founder, Non-Native Speaker Movement)
«This timely and important book – in times of increasing immigration – provides excellent insights into the contributions a generation of African scholars are making to U.S. education. Referencing their experiences as students, educators, professors and social service professionals, Harushimana, Ikpeze, Mthethwa-Sommers and their exceptional contributors collectively provide a critical examination of the social, cultural and political issues that, on the one hand, might have operated as barriers to their own and others’ educational and social trajectory, but on the other, served to inspire and invigorate them in ways that point to what is possible through high aspiration, industriousness, diligence and education.» (Carl E. James, Professor and Director, York Centre for Education and Community, Toronto, Canada)


Black Studies and Critical Thinking: Black Studies in Education. Vol. 42
General Editors: Rochelle Brock, Richard Greggory Johnson III
Subseries Editor: R. Deborah Davis