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D.I.V.A. Diaries

The Road to the Ph.D. and Stories of Black Women Who Have Endured


Edited By Cherrel Miller Dyce and Toni Milton Williams

The Distinguished, Intellectual, Virtuous, Academic Sistas (D.I.V.A.S.) is a group of Black women who formed a bond with one another as doctoral students as a means of support on their journey through the academy. The acronym defines the women individually and as an entire group. This anthology can be used as a practical, student-centered sourcebook for Black female doctoral candidates. By providing narratives about the importance of race, class, culture, religion, socioeconomics, and nationality, this book aims to encourage more Black women to pursue a terminal degree and to continue professional development throughout their careers. It provides readers with strategies to sustain themselves while in a graduate program, on the job market, and during the tenure-earning process. Contributors are full of passion as they encourage one another while bringing the reader into their realm of the academic battlefield.


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) ISBN 978-1-4331-2384-9 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1521-9 (e-book) ISSN 1947-5985 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at © 2015 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited. We dedicate this book to all DIVAS whose work is represented through our collective voices. The wall of Black women is a constant reminder of our com- mon struggles and victories. To those Black women who will come after us, we say, for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. Solidarity! Cherrel dedicates this book to her mother, Ilene, and to her late grand- mother, fondly known in their small Jamaican community as Ms. Dasa, may her soul rest in peace. She carries both of your fighting spirits, love, and pas- sion for the community in the deepest areas of her soul. She also dedicates this book to her husband Mark and their three children. Toni dedicates this book to her parents Beatrice T. Milton and the late Jimmie L. Milton Sr. for their infinite love and wisdom. She also dedicates the book to her husband Mike and their two rugrats and the rest of her family for their unwavering support.

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