States of Grace

Counterstories of a Black Woman in the Academy

by Theodorea Regina Berry (Author)
©2018 Textbook XXVI, 128 Pages


States of Grace: Counterstories of a Black Woman in the Academy recognizes, acknowledges, and centers race and gender through the embodiment of Black womanhood in the academy in the context of grace. Encapsulated in concepts of grace, this book reveals the dynamic, multidimensional presence of a scholar who brings her wholeness into her scholarship and teaching, providing insights and guidance along the way.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Advance praise for States of Grace
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Prologue
  • Chapter 1. New Grace
  • Chapter 2. Teaching and Learning Grace
  • Chapter 3. Empowering Grace
  • Chapter 4. Becoming and Understanding Through Grace
  • Chapter 5. Forgiveness Through Grace
  • Chapter 6. The “Race” in Grace
  • Chapter 7. Closing Grace
  • Epilogue
  • Series Index

← viii | ix →


This work is a labor of love. I am grateful to all those who have supported me as I endeavored to complete this project.

First, I want to express my sincere gratitude to my family: my sister, Kimberlee; my brothers, Kevin and Andre; my sister-in-law Carnisa; my nieces and nephews, DeMarcus and Christina, Brianna, and Bryson.

Thanks to Vivian and Wesley Norton, Lisa Norton-Rotella and Fran Rotella, and Susan Cohen Segal for your love and support.

Thanks, always, to my dear friend, Christopher A. Weinum, Esq., for his love, prayers, and support.

Many thanks to my parish family at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Antonio, TX. Your love and prayers mean the world to me. Special thanks to Dr. Nicholas Cormier and Mrs. Patricia Cormier for making me feel like family.

Love and grace to my sorors of the San Antonio Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. I am so grateful for the sisterhood.

The ability to complete this project would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of Dr. DeBrenna L. Agbenyiga, Vice Provost and Dean, The Graduate School, at the University of Texas ← ix | x → at San Antonio. Your professionalism is an example of grace to which we should all aspire.

Matthew Reese Candis, Phaedra Bell Early, Sherri Freeman, Kawanya Isom, Clayton Lane Jolley, Winnie DuRant, Elizabeth Bowers Cook, Ralph Gdovin, and ReAnna S. Roby: thank you for letting me be your teacher.

Thanks to all the emerging scholars in my life: Kristen Berry, Paula Johnson, Stacy Johnson, Tracy Walton, Emmanuel Watkins, and Deron Wilson. Your fortitude inspires me.

Thanks to Peter Lang and Dr. Rochelle Brock, Series Editor, for your continued support. Your professionalism has been valuable.

As a Black woman academic, I do not engage in this work in isolation. I have been fortunate to have support and advice from numerous scholars: Drs. James D. Anderson, Emily Bonner, Anthony Brown, Guadalupe Carmona, Daniella Cook, Walter Gershon, Mark Giles, Ming Fang He, Robert Helfenbein, Petra Munro Hendry, Sherick Hughes, Michael Jennings, James Jupp, Crystal Kalinec-Craig, Hilton Kelly, Marvin Lynn, Cheryl Matias, Janet Miller, H. Richard Milner, Roland Mitchell, Bekisizwe Ndimande, George Noblitt, P. Elizabeth Pate, Patrick Slattery, Howard Smith, David Stovall, William Trent, and R. Ugenia Whitlock.

Many thanks to the Black women scholars who have influenced my life and my work: Dorinda Carter Andrews, Denise Taliaferro Baszile, Keffrelyn Brown, Dionne Danns, Corrie Davis, Lori Patton Davis, Cynthia Dillard, Adrienne Dixson, Beverly Gordon, Joya Carter Hicks, M. Francyne Huckaby, Robin Hughes, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Sonja Lanehart, Bettina Love, Sabrina Ross, and Wynnetta Scott-Simmons.

Peace, love, and blessings. TRB

← x | xi →


“Say the grace”

She moved with grace.
She accepted his apology, with grace.
She exists in a state of grace.

Definitions of “grace” identify the words as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, grace is defined two ways: (1) simple elegance of refinement of movement; (2) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. As a verb, grace is defined, accordingly: do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one’s presence. Synonyms for the verb are dignify, distinguish, honor, favor.

Pitt-Rivers (2005) provides a clear and sound etymology of grace, accordingly:

From the Greek root “Charis”…we get charity, charisma, eucharist, and so forth; from the Latin, derived from it gracious, gratitude, congratulations, etc. The origin of the word is religious; it is a theological idea which has found various spheres of extension outside the realm of theology…an Indo-Iranian root: the Sanskrit gir, a song or hymn of praise or of grace, or to give thanks. (p. 221) ← xi | xii →


XXVI, 128
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2018 (May)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XXVI, 128 pp.

Biographical notes

Theodorea Regina Berry (Author)

Theodorea Regina Berry is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Recruitment and Engagement for the Graduate School at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She also holds the title of Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies in the College of Education and Human Development at the university.


Title: States of Grace