African American Women, Education, and Self-Actualization: Confronting Gender and Racial Barriers in Religious Institutions

African American Women, Education, and Self-Actualization: Confronting Gender and Racial Barriers in Religious Institutions

Theron N. Ford (John Carroll University, USA) and Blanche Jackson Glimps (Tennessee State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5990-2.ch008
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Abstract

Americans cling to the mythology that education is the great social equalizer with the power to lift members of society out of poverty and to overcome gender and racial discrimination. In turn, American society becomes more harmonious, more equitable, and more democratic as a result of having an educated citizenry. The experiences of two African American women in higher education, particularly in religious institutions, offer a counter-narrative to the persisting mythology. Using a combination of secondary research and personal narrative, the authors posit that American education embodies ongoing institutionalized political, social, and economic injustices. The chapter presents through vignettes, the African American women's first-hand experiences, which potentially are representative of a broader constituency of American academics whose life and work experiences have been affected by their race and gender.

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