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Sista Talk Too

Series:

Rochelle Brock

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.

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Transition: Michael

Extract

Transition

Michael

I have a wonderful poster board filled with memories of my high school students that is placed strategically above my desk. Whenever I become discouraged or start to ask myself what am I doing in graduate school instead of out in the “real” world, working with “real” problems, I look at that board and re-remember the stories that led me to graduate school. I remember the lofty goals I had set for myself as a teacher and I remember my failures and successes in reaching those goals. Most importantly, I remember that my purpose in graduate school is to understand my failures and be able to replicate my successes.

Why did all of my good intentions not always do what I had intended them to do? Why did a school (administration, faculty, and staff) that was intended for an “at-risk” population not care and strive for the success of its students? Why were some of the students “stuck in stupid,” insistent upon making decisions that were harmful to them? Why did so many students possess the I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude, see no way out, live only for today, disengage from the culture of school, drop out? Why were those in control sitting and letting a portion of society fail?

One of my students represents for me the statistic we constantly read about in educational journals. Michael, a young Black male from the inner city living in a female-headed household, dealing and taking...

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