1st Edition

From Oppression to Grace Women of Color and Their Dilemmas within the Academy

Edited By Theodorea Regina Berry, Nathalie Mizelle Copyright 2006

    This book gives voice to the experiences of women of color--women of African, Native American, Latina, East Indian, Korean and Japanese descent--as students pursuing terminal degrees and as faculty members navigating the Academy, grappling with the dilemmas encountered by others and themselves as they exist at the intersections of their work and identities.Women of color are frequently relegated--on account both of race and womanhood--into monolithic categories that perpetuate oppression, subdue and suppress conflict, and silence voices. This book uses critical race feminism (CRF) to place women of color in the center, rather than the margins, of the discussion, theorizing, research and praxis of their lives as they co-exist in the dominant culture. The first part of the book addresses the issues faced on the way to achieving a terminal degree: the struggles encountered and the lessons learned along the way. Part Two, "Pride and Prejudice: Finding Your Place After the Degree" describes the complexity of lives of women with multiple identities as scholars with family, friends, and lives at home and at work. The book concludes with the voices of senior faculty sharing their journeys and their paths to growth as scholars and individuals.This book is for all women of color growing up in the academy, learning to stand on their own, taking first steps, mastering the language, walking, running, falling and getting up to run again--and illuminates the process of self-definition that is essential to their growth as scholars and individuals.

    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS INTRODUCTION. What The Fuck, Now What?. The Social And Psychological Dilemmas Of Multidimensional Being As A Woman Of Color In The Academy, Theodorea Regina Berry PART ONE. Move On Up A Little Higher; Completing The Terminal Degree; 1. The Journey Of An African American Female Chemist-Scholar, Amanda C. Bryant-Friedrich; 2. My Skin Is Brown And I Do Not Wear A Tie; Exploring My Selves As A Southern, Black, Educated, Christian Woman, Menthia P. Clark; 3. Bridging Identities. Making Sense Of Who We Are Becoming To Be, Aki Murata; 4. Watching, My Other Education. Vicarious Learning About Gender And Race In The Professorate, M. Francyne Huckaby; 5. Balancing The Margin Is My Center. A Navajo Woman’s Navigations Through The Academy And Her Community, Tiffany S. Lee; 6. Transitions. Finding My Voice, Tinaya Webb; 7. In Between China And North America, Ming Fang He; 8. Both Oppressor And Oppressed. An Asian Indian Woman’s Experience Within The Academy, Kiran Katira; 9. Mentoring And Its Role In Scholarly Development, Beatrice Bridglall PART TWO. Pride And Prejudice. Finding Your; Place After The Degree; 10. Being All Things To All People; Expectations Of And Demands On Women Of Color In The Legal Academy, Danielle Conway-Jones; 11. The ‘‘Intercultural Space’’ Where Worlds Collide, Amanda Kim; 12. Sides Of The Tenure And Promotion Process. Can I Be A Parental Figure, Scholar, And Spouse?, Cassandra Sligh Dewalt; 13. Perspectives On Negotiating Identity And Profession At A Historically Black College Or University, Cassandra Sligh Dewalt and Cheryl Thompkins Horton; 14. Choosing My Best Thing. Black Motherhood And Academia, Kaavonia Hinton-Johnson; 15. Seen, Not Heard. A Conversation On What It Means To Be Black And Female In The Academy, Lavada Taylor Brandon; 16. In This Place Where I Don’t Quite Belong. Claiming The Ontoepistemological In-Between, Denise Taliaferro Baszile; 17. Una Lucha De Fronteras (A Struggle Of; Borders). Women Of Color In The Academy, Maria V. Balderrama, Mary T. Texeira, and Elsa Valdez PART THREE. Words Of Womanhood Wisdom. Voices Of Senior Faculty Who Are Women Of Color; 18. Critical Race Feminist Foremothering. Multiplicities In The Post 9/11 World, Adrien Katherine Wing; 19. A Nuyorican In The Academy. Lessons Learned, Sonia Nieto; Index .


    Theodorea Regina Berry is Vice Provost for Student Learning and Academic Success and Dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies; additionally she serves as Professor of Curriculum Studies in the Department of Learning Sciences and Educational Research in the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida. Nathalie Mizelle is Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Studies, the School of Allied Health Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

    "Berry and Mizelle have assembled an impressive array of 19 scholarly essays focusing on the dilemmas, challenges, and opportunities of women of color in the US academy. The contributing authors--women of African, Native American, Latina, East Indian, Korean and Japanese origin--narrate their positive and negative experiences at predominantly White universities....These real-life stories of discrimination, resistance, and survival provide the minority viewpoint, and illustrate the profound consequences of race and gender in the academy. This volume makes a signifcant contribution to the literature on the role of race and gender in American universities. Summing Up: Highly recommended."


    "Compelling narratives that illuminate experiences of women in the academy. The essays highlight the diversity that exists among 'women of color,' not only in terms of their racial and ethnic identity, but also in the multiple facets that are integral to their identities, including family, relationships, and commitments to their community and faith. The concerns addressed in these pages underscore the relentless (institutional) cultures and practices that continue to relegate the professional contributions of women of color to the margins. This book makes a significant contribution. Readers will emerge with a keen understanding of the concerns that continue to impact women scholars of color. This book provides hope that such understanding will inform and influence institutional policies and practices."

    The Review of Higher Education

    "As the editors note, From Oppression to Grace implies both the movement from relative subjugation to relative freedom and describes the range of experiences felt by women whose relationships to power shift with context. Contributing authors reflect on the roles their multiple identities play as they navigate personal and academic waters. Their stories have the potential both to guide women of color through the academic gauntlet and to inform men and white women about the specific and various challenges women of color encounter in the academy. This anthology illustrates the power of Critical Race Feminism’s lens, examines the complexity of intersecting identities, and belies the need for continued change in the U.S. academy."

    AAC&U On Campus with Women

    "This edited volume delivers on its promise to use a critical race feminist approach to discuss the multiple identities and social positionalities of women of color, including the ways in which women of color navigate academice environments, as well as the broader environment of the dominant culture....Indeed the multiple positionalities of the women featured in From Oppression to Grace make it one of the richest texts available regarting the contemporary experiences of women of color in the academy...the writers in this volume make profound contributions to a broader understanding of the richness that emerges from attending to the intersections of race, gender, class, nationality, and other factors."

    Pat Washington

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