In Sista Talk Too, Rochelle Brock brings meaningful new material which evokes and updates her past examination of Black women in today’s culture. The first Sista Talk: The Personal and the Pedagogical is an inquiry into the questions of how Black women define their existence in a society which devalues, dehumanizes, and silences their beliefs. Placing herself inside of the research, Rochelle Brock invited the reader on a journey of self-exploration, as she and seven of her Black female students investigate their collective journey toward self-awareness in the attempt to liberate their minds and souls from ideological domination. Throughout, Sista Talk attempted to understand the ways in which this self-exploration informs her pedagogy. Combining Black feminist and Afrocentric theory with critical pedagogy, Sista Talk Too frames the parameters for an Afrowomanist pedagogy of wholeness for teaching Black students and strength in dealing with an unpredictable and often unstable view of the future. Rochelle Brock brings us something to be remembered by, chapters and writings from students and colleagues to help us survive and thrive in this world…all in the spirit of love, life, and Oshun.
Foreword: On Passionate Pedagogies
Silvia C. Bettez
Sista Talk is one of four key texts in my Passionate Pedagogies class, a course situated in a Cultural Foundations of Education doctoral program which I have taught four times. In this course we examine teaching and learning as embodied practices and study how passion, on the part of both teachers and learners, can become a motivating force for deeper understanding of ourselves and critical social issues in society. As I reread the book again to write this afterword, I was reminded of how much it speaks to me in ways that are so often neglected in the sterile walls of academia. As a professor I constantly read for work; however, my experience when engaging texts is widely varied. I am always learning as I read, but some authors constrain my knowledge while others feed my soul. Rochelle Brock’s book is one of those soul-affirming, grounding, mold-breaking, challenging works that reminds me of the power of embodied learning.
Throughout the book, Brock candidly enacts deep levels of critical self-reflection as she shares parts of her journey to better understand herself as a Black woman in “a confusing and hostile world” and herself as Black woman teacher always striving to more effectively teach students who are also struggling with challenges to their identities in hostile environments. She highlights the dialectic of strength and weakness in Black women’s lives resulting from the constant pain experienced from being othered in a dehumanizing, disempowering society....
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