Exemplar of Pearls of Wisdom for the Academy through Dr. Pearlie Dove's Career in Education

Exemplar of Pearls of Wisdom for the Academy through Dr. Pearlie Dove's Career in Education

Noran L. Moffet, Melanie M. Frizzell, De'Lonn C. Brown
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8321-1.ch001
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The subject of this chapter represents a woman of color, courage, and consciousness who began her early childhood preparation in the segregated “colored schools” of Atlanta, Georgia in the 1920s and 1930s. Pearlie Craft (maiden name) Dove is the focus of this originally conceptualized qualitative narrative which draws its scholarly influence from ethnography, reflective biography, and historiography as well as personal narrative to posit a methodological approach described as ethno-biographical research. The selected key participant for this chapter was born in 1921. The authors constructed the methodology from selected biographical notes, conversations, interviews, and critical theory of the era in which she was educated and lived. The conceptual model describes the foundation for the use of the term Pearlie's Pearls of Wisdom as attributes that can be models for men and women who aspire to promote principles over expediency. This chapter seeks to promote the overarching professional and personal qualities exemplified by Dr. Dove from 1949-2014.
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In the prosperous but segregated city of Atlanta, Georgia in 1921, Pearlie Craft was born (New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2014a). The history of Atlanta has seen the city emerge from a place called Terminus and Marthasville to an incorporated City of Atlanta (Martin, 1902). The city where Sherman began his march to Savannah during the civil war has given birth to many historical events and notable persons of color who have impacted various professional fields of endeavor despite the insidious legal restrictions of segregation. Perhaps the rise of Atlanta as a sprawling hub of economic, social, and educational progress in the south after the War Between the States, can be traced to the development of the black community (Carter, 1894). By the time of The Cotton Expo World Fair of Atlanta in 1895, Booker T. Washington gained acclaim and fame for his famous “hand in glove” speech. Similarly, Atlanta was the city where James Weldon Johnson and his brother, Rosmond Johnson, were educated at Atlanta University. These brothers penned the words and composed the music for the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” commonly known within the African-American community as the Black National Anthem.

Hence as the 20th century began, the predominantly agrarian south had among its modern metropolitan centers the City of Atlanta, which arguably was an example of the “New South” (Woodward, 1971; New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2014b, para. 1-2). Therefore, the unique racial dynamic of Atlanta at the dawn of the 20th century witnessed the growth of the Atlanta University Center as an educational center of institutions for African Americans, including the arrival of Dr. W.E.B. Dubois to Atlanta University. Conversely, in the decades before the birth of Pearlie Craft, Atlanta had produced a paradoxical society or “New South” (Woodward, 1971; New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2014b, para. 1-2) as well as an economic industrialization with social segregation, racial, and political polarization (New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2014c, para. 1-8). The working class families and communities of color in Atlanta produced graduates of the colleges and universities that have commonly been identified with the term, The Atlanta University Center. Educationally, historically black colleges had normal schools in the midst of the segregated schools of the Atlanta Public School System (Racine, 1969). It should be noted that many of the black children in the Atlanta area attended one of the normal schools for secondary school education before the benefit of free public high school education was available through the building of Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia (Anderson, 1988; Margo, 1990).

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