Religio-spirituality and the Leadership of Black Female Principals
Chapter 2 Womanist Theology as Methodology and Method
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Womanist Theology as Methodology and Method
There is something about African American culture that compels oral history and narration.
(Cone, 1997, p. 6)
It is not customary to include an entire chapter devoted to methodology in a work such as this. However, I wanted to highlight the crucial nature of womanist theology to this undertaking. Theology in this context is not homogenous because of the varied ways in which people interpret or validate their experiences (Frederick, 2003).
In my quest to give voice to the principals in this study, I employed narrative analysis that sought to deconstruct quantification by exploring meaning (Vaz, 1997). Narrative inquiry and narrative analysis of lives have gained popularity in recent years. Narratives often take the form of first-person accounts. Other genres of “stories of experience” (Merriam, 2002, p. 286) include life history, oral history, life narrative, and autobiography. Professional practice in educational leadership tends to silence certain narratives regardless of what these narratives could teach us. Narrative research commands particular and historical significance for expanding and transforming knowledge about Black women (Vaz, 1997). Martin (1998) states:
The interweaving of Black women’s religious, biblical, theological, and sociopolitical thought and reflection as it often emerges in autobiography, biography, and other narrative forms, documents processes.... wherein one can ← 41 | 42 → chart the evolution of the Afro or Afra-American self evolving from the more “private” citizen to the more “public”...leader. (p....
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