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Ordinary Theologies

Religio-spirituality and the Leadership of Black Female Principals

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Arnold Noelle Witherspoon

Through narrative analysis, Ordinary Theologies highlights the intersectionality of gender, race, and religio-spirituality. It examines the relationship of past and current religio-spiritual leadership understandings that contest the status quo in U.S. schools. The historicity and analysis of gender and race contributes to reconceptualizing educational and leadership by emphasizing the voices of Black female leaders, voices that provide alternative understandings of schooling, stressing the importance of gendered and raced voices in administration, and questioning formulaic models of leadership and the research that reifies them.
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Chapter 3 Testimony: Presentation of Narratives

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Chapter 3

Testimony: Presentation of Narratives

Take time to share your story, share your story, share your story.

(Hambrick, 1997, p. 81)

Testimony is described as the “willful assertion of divine intervention in ordinary circumstances” (Floyd-Thomas, 2006b, p. 132). Testimonies are “verbal affirmations of belief and narratives of divine interaction with ordinary life” (Ross, 2002, p. 14). For this reason, this chapter is called “Testimony: Presentation of Narratives.” This chapter represents the spiritual narratives, and indeed the testimonies, or religio-spirituality in the lives of these Black female principals. Each spiritual historian’s narrative begins with an introduction to the text and an example of a text that serves as a model for it. Each narrative is presented as a different research text in a different format similar to historical or contemporary spiritual narratives. The format used for each text is congruent with and determined by the nature of stories of each spiritual historian. Each narrative represents the most salient, overarching themes illuminated in it.

Meditation has been described as spiritual reflection and/or prayer. Each participant actively talks about the Bible and its application to her life. The Bible states:

Study this Book of Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. I ← 79 | 80 → command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the...

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