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Black Feminism in Education

Black Women Speak Back, Up, and Out


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 Six: Colorist Dimensions of Black Feminist Knowledge

← 70 | 71 →CHAPTER SIX



Society owes a great debt to researchers who view traditional narratives as open to question and disagreement. The exemplary scholarship that has emerged from critical explorations of history (Anderson, 1988), curriculum studies (Alridge, 2006), sociocultural context (Hale-Benson, 1982), and other areas has enriched shallow representations of Black1 schooling and, more importantly, challenged erroneous conclusions that are grounded by deficit thinking. Dillard’s (2000) conceptualization of endarkened feminist epistemology accords with the best traditions of progressive research by situating streams of knowledge into a culturally relevant framework. Social scientists particularly benefit from the conceptual tools that Dillard (2006) provides to revamp feminist notions that have cast girls and women as an undifferentiated group for far too long. As she explains,

in contrast with the common use of the term “enlightened” as a way of expressing the having of new and important feminist insights (arising historically from the well-established canon of White feminist thought), I use the term endarkened feminist epistemology to articulate how reality is known when based in the historical roots of Black feminist thought, embodying a distinguishable difference in cultural standpoint, located in the intersection/overlap of the culturally constructed socializations of race, gender, and other identities and the historical and contemporary contexts of oppressions and resistance for African American women. (Dillard, 2000, p. 662)

← 71 | 72 →Certainly ongoing attention to social forces, such as geographic and economic influences, cautions scholars against embracing essentialist myths (Morris & Monroe, 2009). Yet, while consequential...

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