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Sisters of Hope, Looking Back, Stepping Forward
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This book documents the critiques and theorizings that working-class African-American women have drawn from their educational experiences. Based on a study of five African-American females enrolled in an employer-sponsored workplace speech and language training program, the book presents lessons learned from participants' efforts to negotiate effects of race, class, and gender discrimination both in and out of school. Particularly relevant to the field of education, participants provide insight - on the roles of teachers and schools, instruction, expectations, motivation, race and education, educational experiences at work, and relevant education - to inform and help effect change. Because of its interdisciplinarity, Sisters of Hope, Looking Back, Stepping Forward is an asset for a variety of courses that seek to be inclusive of the educational experiences and theorizings of marginalized groups. Its insights on race, class, gender, marginalization, and inequality are relevant to courses in areas such as African-American studies, women's studies, ethnic studies, multicultural education, sociolinguistics - black Englishes, history, oral history/autobiography, communication, and religion.
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About the Author

The Author: Audrey P. Watkins is Associate Professor of African American Studies at Western Illinois University. She earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with specialization in curriculum design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include the education of people of African descent, transnationalism of older Jamaican women, social justice and education, black Englishes, Christian education, and teacher communication.

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"Audrey P. Watkins expands the idea that curriculum is embodied in lived experience in and out of school. She weaves her own life curricula with that of other African-American women in workplaces, families, homes, churches, and schools to help individuals reflect on their past, act upon their present, and imagine their future as they compose their lives filled with hopes, dreams, and possibilities." (William H. Schubert, Professor and University Scholar, University of Illinois at Chicago) "Audrey P. Watkins has done a superb job of connecting her own rich and resilient history to those of the African-American women whom she interviewed. The insights that the author and interviewees provide on topics such as education, family values, religion, the workforce, race relations, and societal inequities will be beneficial to parents, educators, policymakers, and anyone else who is interested in learning valuable lessons from the `school of life.'" (Gail L. Thompson, Professor, School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University; Author, `Up Where We Belong: Helping African American and Latino Students Rise in School and in Life')

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