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Ordinary Theologies

Religio-spirituality and the Leadership of Black Female Principals


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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Arnold, Noelle Witherspoon. Ordinary theologies: religio-spirituality and the leadership of black female principals / Noelle Witherspoon Arnold. pages cm. — (Black studies and critical thinking; v. 39) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Women school principals—United States. 2. African American school principals. 3. Educational leadership—United States. 4. School principals— United States—Religious life. 5. African American women—Religious life. 6. Black theology. 7. Womanist theology. I. Title. LB2831.93.A76 371.2’012—dc23 2013038197 ISBN 978-1-4331-1636-0 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-1635-3 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1243-0 (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 is available on the Internet at

Cover image credits: Model: Ursula Thomas Headshot: James Paul, JPaul Photography Styling and Photo: Bruce Makoto Arnold

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