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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 Five: Eating from the Tree of Life: An Endarkened Feminist Revelation

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An Endarkened Feminist Revelation

KYRA T. SHAHID

Cynthia Dillard’s (2006) conceptualization of an endarkened feminist epistemology gave me the means to critique the violence perpetuated in the universal generalization of White male knowledge constructions of reality. Her work provides me with the language to voice a specialized knowledge positioned within my cultural, political, and historical identity as a Black woman so that I might reveal a different reality, a different epistemology, than what is traditionally recognized in academic research. Recognizing that non-White, non-male people think differently as opposed to deficiently flies in the face of positivistic and oppressive thinking that leads us to believe that one way of knowing is superior to others. Dillard (2006) acknowledges that her desire in articulating an endarkened feminist epistemology is not to substitute a dominating White male epistemology with a Black female one, but to reclaim and resituate research in the cultural origins from which they began. I share Dillard’s desire and intend to use the framework she has conceptualized to identify the epistemic violence I encountered as a graduate student. This self-reflective process will shed light on the ways that an endarkened feminist epistemology supports the ability of a Black woman to respond, overcome, resist, avoid, and ultimately neutralize forceful displacements of knowledge and ways of knowing that maintain dominance over oppressed communities.

I remember the exact moment that it all came crashing down. I was a master’s student studying student affairs in higher education when I...

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