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My journey into the ‘heart of whiteness’ whilst remaining my authentic (Black) self

Pennant, April-Louise M.O.O ORCID: 2021. My journey into the ‘heart of whiteness’ whilst remaining my authentic (Black) self. Educational Philosophy and Theory 53 (3) , 245–256. 10.1080/00131857.2020.1769602

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The dire implications of navigating the overwhelming whiteness of the education system for Black women is foregrounded by the author’s autoethnography about her educational journey and experiences. Within it, the author illustrates the key role of her Black identity - despite being immersed in whiteness– to provide a strong sense of self, pride and resilience, which ultimately leads to her survival in the unequal spaces of the education system. By way of her own educational experiences, the author shares how she becomes motivated to embark upon a PhD as a way to centre and affirm Black identities and in order to make palatable spaces within the hostility of whiteness. Drawing on her PhD research, which is framed by Black feminist epistemology, Critical Race Theory and Bourdieu’s theory of practice, her findings, based on the semi-structured interviewing of 25 other Black British women graduates, illustrates that the participants share similar educational experiences and responses. The paper concludes by asserting that the attainment of Black girls and young women often does not reflect their strong commitment to education- which evidences one consequence of journeying into the ‘heart of whiteness'. Therefore, the author argues for the necessity of more research and support for this diverse group.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 0013-1857
Date of Acceptance: 5 March 2020
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 09:52

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