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D.I.V.A. Diaries

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

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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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Chapter 9. An African American Woman’s Continued Fight for a Pedagogical Education Inside of the Classroom (Marrissa R. Dick)

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9. An African American Woman’s Continued Fight for a Pedagogical Education Inside of the Classroom Marrissa r. DiCk Education is a defining moment when epistemology and terminology equate to an epiphany, thereby igniting praxis. — Marrissa R. Dick Introduction My primary school years were spent in Catholic school, and these educa- tional foundational years were the most oppressive and abusive (mentally, emotionally, and physically) educational years of my life. Daily my emotional, physical, and psychological well-being was placed in the hands of nuns who believed that educational banking and oppressive authoritative measures were the necessary prerequisites for learning. This institution was located in the heart of Bronx, New York’s African and Hispanic American community and it was operated by White nuns. These nuns never once demonstrated a loving attitude toward me, nor did they provide a safe environment. Instead they displayed aggressive behavior toward me, assaulted me physically on a routine basis, and verbally abused me. As a child I always wondered why I was seemingly singled out to be physically and verbally abused by my teachers while I was in school. I understood early on that my family name (Dick) was at the root of it. My father’s name is Mr. Charles Wayne Dick and my mother’s name is Mrs. Joyce McClure Dick, so is there a big wonder that my name would have been Miss Dick? I remember clearly a nun glaring at me, a 7-year old child, with hateful, squinted blue eyes and with a venomous tongue tell...

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