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Black Feminism in Education

Black Women Speak Back, Up, and Out

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Edited By Venus E. Evans-Winters and Bettina L. Love

In Black Feminism in Education: Black Women Speak Back, Up, and Out, authors use an endarkened feminist lens to share the ways in which they have learned to resist, adapt, and re-conceptualize education research, teaching, and learning in ways that serve the individual, community, nation, and all of humanity. Chapters explore and discuss the following question: How is Black feminist thought and/or an endarkened feminist epistemology (EFE) being used in pre-K through higher education contexts and scholarship to marshal new research methodologies, frameworks, and pedagogies? At the intersection of race, class, and gender, the book draws upon alternative research methodologies and pedagogies that are possibly transformative and healing for all involved in the research, teaching, and service experience. The volume is useful for those interested in women and gender studies, research methods, and cultural studies.
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Chapter Four: Rising Harriett Tubmans: Exploring Intersectionality and African American Women Professors

← 48 | 49 →CHAPTER FOUR

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Exploring Intersectionality and African American Women Professors

DARLENE RUSSELL, LISA HOBSON, AND DENISE TALIAFERRO-BASZILE

This chapter focuses on the experiences of three African American women faculty members employed as tenure-track professors at three universities across the United States. In this auto-ethnographic rendering, we sought to identify challenges, obstacles, strategies, and options of/for tenured and nontenured Black women currently navigating higher education. For this project, we examined (a) how the lack of support mechanisms in research and professional associations often define the experiences and limit the success of African American women professors and (b) how challenging and reversing the past social structures would assist in gaining tenure and promotions.

Through our narratives, we engage and interrogate theories of self, rationality, history, voice, place, power, and knowledge as they are shaped by intersectionality, which is the coinciding and contradicting relations of race, gender, and class. Ultimately, we work within a critical approach where we advocate for emancipatory policies (Creswell, 2007).

Some authors assert the most salient and prevailing of the multiple identities of women of color in the academy is race. Ladson-Billings and Tate (1995) discussed how race is at the nucleus of American life—it shapes, defines, and stratifies us. Turner (2002) noted women of color in the professoriate experience ← 49 | 50 →multiple marginality, which is evidenced in some of the following ways: pressure to conform, social invisibility, isolation, exclusion from informal peer networks, limited sources of power, fewer opportunities for sponsorship, stereotyping,...

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