Black Female Teachers: Diversifying the United States' Teacher Workforce Vol: 6

Abiola Farinde-Wu
University of Pittsburgh, USA

Ayana Allen-Handy
Drexel University, USA

Chance W. Lewis
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

Product Details
26 Jul 2017
Emerald Publishing Limited
224 pages - 152 x 229mm
Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education
With the emergence of a diverse public school student population, existing literature affirms the existence of a Black teacher shortage and the low representation of teachers of color in U.S. public schools. Although there are over 3 million public school teachers, African American teachers only comprise approximately 8 percent of the public school teaching workforce. In fact, the education field is dominated by White, middle-class teachers, particularly, White female teachers. 

While the retention of all teachers of color is a pertinent issue, an examination of Black female teachers who can assist in diversifying the teaching field is timely and warranted. Despite Black females’ historic role in public education and that teaching is a female-dominated profession, Black female teachers represent only 7.7 percent of the American teaching force, while students of color represent almost 49 percent of the total student enrolment.  

This important, timely, and provocative book places recruitment and retention of Black female teachers at the center. The contributions address not only the recruitment of Black female teachers but also discuss mechanisms necessary to retain them. Thus, this collection not only focuses on recruiting and retaining Black female teachers for the sake of having their representation in schools; rather, authors consider some of the implicit (and overt) nuances that these teachers experience in schools across the United States.
Foreword; Richard Milner  
Reflecting Back While Gazing Forward: Black Female Teachers and the Diversification of the United States' Teacher Workforce; Ayana Allen-Handy and Abiola Farinde-Wu 
The Historical/Contemporary Landscape of Black Female Teachers And Then There Were None: Reversing the Exodus of Black Women from the Teaching Profession; Valerie Hill-Jackson 
The Antioppressionist Thoughts and Pedagogies of Anna Julia Cooper and Septima Poinsette Clark; Karen A. Johnson 
Scholarly Examination of Black Female Teachers The Urban Factor: Examining why Black Female Educators Teach in Under-resourced, Urban Schools; Abiola Farinde-Wu, Ayana Allen-Handy, Bettie Ray Butler and Chance W. Lewis 
"Black Like Me": Female Pre-service Teachers of Color on Learning to Teach for Social Justice with a Black Female Professor; Tambra O. Jackson, Ashley Ballard, Marena Drewery, Brianna Membres, Laryn Morgan and Felicia Nicholson 
Retention of Black Female Teachers Invisible Threads: Working Conditions, Interpersonal Relationships, and Turnover Among Black Female Teachers; Ayana K. Campoli, Dyanis A. Popova 
Racial Congruence, Teacher Stress, and Professional Commitment Among African American Female Teachers; Paul G. Fitchett, Eugenia B. Hopper, Maytal Eyal, Christopher J. McCarthy and Richard G. Lambert 
Why Black Women Teachers Leave and What Can Be Done About it; Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond 
Abiola Farinde-Wu is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Urban Education. She also received her Master of Education degree in Administration from Lamar University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Texas A&M University. In 2017, she completed her Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh. At the center, Farinde-Wu managed and studied the Ready to Learn program, a two year tutoring and mentoring initiative and empirical study that prepares and connects University of Pittsburgh students with K-12 students, in order to provide the K-12 students with experiences that support them with academic progress in mathematics and English language arts, as well as social skills development. Prior to her post-doctoral work, Farinde-Wu was a Graduate Research Associate in the Urban Education Collaborative at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where she assisted with the collection and dissemination of empirically based research for the purposes of improving outcomes for students in urban contexts. Farinde-Wu’s teaching focuses on preparing pre-service and in-service teachers for diverse student populations. She has co-authored numerous studies published in journals, including Teachers College Record, Urban Education, and Teaching and Teacher Education. Her research interests are the educational experiences and outcomes of Black women and girls, teacher retention, and urban teacher education. 
Ayana Allen-Handy is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Policy, Organization, and Leadership at Drexel University’s School of Education, USA. She received a B.A. in Management & Society and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a M.Ed. in Education from the University of St. Thomas (Houston), and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Urban Education from Texas A&M University. Her professional career includes serving as a first grade teacher and literacy specialist in the Houston Independent School District, a Director of College Counseling and Alumni Programs at YES Prep Public Schools, and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at The Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte where she conducted a three-year ethnographic case study on comprehensive urban school transformation. Her research interests include the interdisciplinary examination of issues of equity and social justice in urban schools and historically marginalized communities. More specifically, she focuses on urban teacher education and youth identity development and engagement through critical participatory action research (CPAR). Ultimately her work seeks to leverage the community cultural wealth embedded in communities of color to answer complex questions about access and achievement. She is co-editor of Autoethnography as a Lighthouse: Illuminating Race, Research, and the Politics of Schooling (Information Age, 2015) as well as recently published articles in Teachers College Record, Equity and Excellence in Education, and The Education Law & Policy Review. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband Frederick and son Aiden. 
Dr. Chance W. Lewis currently teaches graduate courses in the field of Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA. His experiences span the range of K-12 and higher education. From 2006-2011, Dr. Lewis served as the Houston Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Urban Education at Texas A&M University. In 2001-2006, he served as an assistant professor of teacher education at Colorado State University. During the 1994-1998, Dr. Lewis served as a Business Education teacher in East Baton Rouge Parish Schools (Baton Rouge, LA), where he earned Teacher of the Year honors in 1997. Dr. Lewis has over 100 publications including 70+ refereed journal articles in some of the leading academic journals in the field of urban education.
Provocative and informative, this edited book offers an insightful look at the critically important role Black female teachers have historically played in communities of color, from the Reconstruction period to the present. Contributing authors shine light on the dwindling numbers of Black female teachers in today’s schools, discuss reasons for their disappearance, and offer strategies to reverse this disturbing trend by creating conditions to attract them to teaching and retain them in the profession. Black female teachers: Diversifying the United States’ teacher workforce is a must-read for teachers, school administrators, teacher educators, policy makers and others who value diversity and are committed to making schools more socially just and truly multicultural. 

Ana María Villegas, Director of the Teacher Education and Teacher Development PhD Program, Montclair State University


If the American school system is truly committed to effectively educating all of its students, it must act judiciously yet urgently to diversify the teaching force. This book is a timely and needed declaration of the work, contribution, and commitment of Black female teachers to the field of education, the communities they serve, and the souls of our future. It is a must read for all teachers who yearn to understand the profession from an alternative point of view. 

Stephen D. Hancock, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Multicultural Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

This book is affirmation that more than ever before our schools need Black teachers. Black female teachers, in particular, bring an epistemological framework for how they engage with students that changes individual lives, and thus communities. Black Female Teachers: Diversifying the United States' Teacher Workforce provides an historical and contemporary treatise on the significance of the presence of Black female teachers in K-12 classrooms and teacher education programs. It is a must read for all who are concerned with changing educational outcomes for students of color in today's classrooms.


Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Teachers College, Columbia University

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