A Paradise to Regain
Post-Obama Insights from Women Educators of the Black Diaspora
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A Paradise to Regain: Post-Obama Insights from Women Educators of the Black Diaspora seeks to avert the likelihood of erasure of President Barack Obama’s legacy of hope and possibility that every child, regardless of race, faith, and gender affiliation, can dream big and live to see his/her dream turn into reality. As women educators of color, we all agree that the socio-political climate prevailing in the United States of America, since the aftermath of the 2016 election, requires unprecedented agency. The book provides space for Black women educators–African Americans, Naturalized Black Americans, and Foreign-born Blacks from Africa, the Caribbean Islands and South America (e.g., Guyana)–to have a candid conversation with their young children—sons and daughters, nephews and nieces—about the roadblocks they are likely to face as minority youth of color in their pursuit of greatness and the reminder that they have a role model in President Obama to look up to in moments of extreme frustration and exasperation. Voices of engaged educators of color are indispensable to make sure that children understand that that despite a-360-degree turn from eight consecutive years of a reassuring message that “change had come”, that paradise had been gained, into the threatening message of “making America white again”, we count on them to regain the paradise.

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments

FOREWORD
Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz

INTRODUCTION
Eight Years of Paradise: An Obama Will Come Again
Immaculée Harushimana

SECTION I
THE BURDEN OF LEADING WHILE BLACK
1. “They’re Coming for Our Jobs Too!” Double Standards for Black and White Leadership in the Age of Obama and Trump
Rosaire Ifedi

2. Does Race Matter in Dissertation Mentoring? A Black Native Caribbean Woman Research Methodologist Genuflects and Reflects
Janice B. Fournillier

3. Transformative Leadership–“Botho-Humane”: A Wellness Perspective
Meahabo D. Magano

4. Mission to Accomplish: A Journey to Math Democracy
Marcia M. Burrell

5. Teaching through the Lens of a Mother
Josephine Jarpa Dawuni

SECTION II
GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
6. Gender Equality Not of This World: In the Brave New World
Lindamichelle Baron

7. Let Hope Ring: Memories of a Black Girl Finding Hope during the 2008 Elections
Ronisha Browdy

8. Oppressive Patriarchy: African Women Struggle with Gender Inequality
Gladys Kedibone Mokwena

9. Teaching Adult Learners of Color in a Time of Struggle: The Impact on Children
Jaye Jones

10. Incivility: Experiences of a Black Widow in a Higher Education Working Environment
Sizakele M. Matlabe

SECTION III
HOW BRAVE ART AFRICAN WOMEN IMMIGRANTS?

11. Where Is Justice for Immigrants!?
“If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed?
If You Tickle Us, Do We Not Laugh?”
Mary N. Ghongkedze

12. “Talking Some and Leaving Some”: A Community-Grounded Approach to Teaching and Sustaining African Languages in America
Esther Milu

13. When Being Articulate Isn’t Enough: The Narrative of a French-Speaking African Woman Faculty of English
Immaculée Harushimana

14. Can You Get It If You Really Want? A Jamaican-Born Science Educator Reflects on Success Attainability
Ellie Williamson

15. Beware of False Consciousness: A Letter to My Son
Shirley Mthethwa-Sommers

SECTION IV
BLACK SELF-AFFIRMATION
16. Standing with Barack Obama: The Need for Black Scientists in STEM Education
Diane Price Banks

17. “Yes, I Can; Yes, We Can!” Reflections of a Caribbean Immigrant Sistah in the Struggle with a Legacy of Determination, Strength, and Empowerment
Mary V. Alfred

18. Writing Ourselves into History: Examining a World of Black Imaginings and Possibility
Tracy Cook-Person, with Djenaba Dekkatu and Quincy Merrill

19. On Being a Biracial Woman of Black and Puerto Rican Descent: A Mother Reflects on a Mother-Daughter Conversation
Patricia Isaac

20. To Dream the Impossible Dream
Lindamichelle Baron

SECTION V
CAN A BLACK MALE CHILD DREAM BIG
IN A MELANIN-PHOBIC WORLD?
21. Hope: President Barack Obama’s Legacy to Black Children
Eleanor T. Campbell

22. Dreams for My Son: Dreaming Big in America
Faith Muturia

23. Dreams Shattered and Restored: President Barack Obama Confronting the
Shadow of Absent Fatherhood and the Pursuit of a Healthy Relationship
Faith N. Maina

24. The Black Male as World Citizen and Cultural Ambassador: Embracing Multiple Identities
Rasheeda Ahmad

SECTION VI
PARADISE TO REGAIN: CHANGE MUST COME AGAIN
25. “Oh, Mercy, Mercy Me”—”A Change is Gonna Come” . . . Again
Gillian U. Bayne

26. Yes, She Did: Following Queen Mother Sanford Wherever She May Go
Lindamichelle Baron

27. As Long as There Is Life: Elections That Shaped My Transnationality
Immaculée Harushimana

28. From Barack Obama to Donald Trump:
Two Extremes at Making History
Aminata Diop

29. Supporting the Village That Raises the Children: From the Perspective of a Community Advocate
Patricia Mason

30. “We Danced in the Streets:” Obama Era, Civil Rights Generation, and Voting Rights
Mary E. Dillard

CONCLUSION
Looking Back to Move Forward: A Black Women’s Collective (Re-)Imagining and (Re-)Membering Hope and Change
Sherry L. Deckman

Contributors
Index

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Reviews & Endorsements:

“As the title suggests, this volume offers a rich “paradise” from Black women’s insights into and from the Black Diaspora. At the same time, there is a nuanced detailing of the loss of paradisal conditions for women leaders and educators historically and in our contemporary post-Obama era. Focusing on teacher education and several sociology fields, these chapters offer a range of storied, artistic, poetic, political, historical, and personal accounts that highlight valuable possibilities to remember, reclaim, and re-imagine legacies and “narratives of hope.”

Courtney Lee Weida, Associate Professor, Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, Adelphi University, Graduate Program

“In this book, expert and powerful voices deliver impactful and encouraging messages, particularly to those of us who are still trying to figure out our space and place at home, on the streets, in the classroom, on campuses, in politics, and yes, in the world.”

Jeanine Ntihirageza, Professor, Northeastern Illinois University

“In Paradise to Regain, the paradoxes of the American Dream and the promise of inclusiveness are counterposed against painful exclusion from the full benefits of citizenship, from the mainstream, from leadership, and from equitable access to economic, political and social resources in general. The authors weave a tapestry that tells an intersectional story of the implications of race, class, and gender in the contemporary USA. The book provides an important critique of the status quo and presents some alternative visions of possible futures without sugarcoating. The message that runs through it is that Paradise can be regained, but only through determined, focused, collective struggle. This book is a great contribution to academic and popular analysis and explication of the past and present gendered challenges faced by racial and ethnic minorities in the USA.”

Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome, Professor of Political Science, African & Women’s Studies, Brooklyn College, CUNY

Throughout this volume, the diverse voices of female scholars, educators, mothers, and immigrants from across the Diaspora challenge us to reflect on our cultural heritage – where and how we fit in to this critical time in history. The writings demand that we consider how we can actively create multifaceted opportunities for ourselves and our communities moving forward. Yes We Can!

Adeyinka M. Akinsulure-Smith, Professor, The City College of New York, the City University of New York