Term of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

John Weaver

Committee Member 2

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 3

Sonia Janis

Committee Member 3 Email



This is an oral history inquiry into the experience of six former students at Lucy Craft Laney, a Historical Black High School in Georgia, with the intent to illuminate their necessary voices. Theoretically drawing upon critical race theory (Bell, 1992; Delgado, 1995; Dixson, & Rousseau, 2006; Ladson-Billings, 2003, 2009; Ladson- Billings & Tate, 2006; Yosso, 2006), I explore how race, class, social status, and power have an underlying effect on the voices of Black students. I disrupt the majoritarian narrative to illuminate how the powers-that-be propagate a discourse of silencing the voices of the marginalized Black people of the Lucy Craft Laney High School community. Methodologically, I use oral history (Brown, 1998; Janesick, 2007; Leavy, 2011; Perks & Thomson, 1998; Ritchie, 2003) to collect counterstories (Bell, 1992; Delgado, 1995; Dixson, & Rousseau 2006; He & Ross, 2013, 2015; Solorzano & Yosso, 2002, 2009) which enable six former students who thrived at Lucy Craft Laney High School to challenge majoritarian deficit-oriented stories told through the powers-that-be and perpetuated by deficit-oriented policies. Certain aspects of the counterstories are fictionalized with the intent to protect the participants. Permission was received from each participant in order to fictionalize aspects of their stories or to omit any content that might have tendencies to damage their careers or reputations. Following The Principles and Best Practices for Oral History adopted by the Oral History Association in 2009, I collected my participants’ in-depth accounts of their personal experience with a focus on their reflections on the past without making commentary on contemporary events. I informed my participants about the nature and purpose of my research and insure that they could voluntarily give their consent or withdraw from my research at any time. All interviews were conducted within the parameters of the consent.

Six themes have been illuminated from this inquiry. Racism, white supremacy, majoritarian tales, perpetuation of fear, and hate propaganda are all being overtly and covertly beamed into our minds causing a deficit mindset. Media outlets in the local community, most often, place a dark cloud on Lucy Craft Laney High School and its students as a degenerative pestilence. Counterstories challenge voices in power, disrupt the majoritarian narrative, shine light on necessary voices of the underrepresented, and galvanize a curriculum of change. There is power in knowing and passing down the history of Lucy Craft Laney High School and her legacy will live on through this corridor. Laney is a place where several types of curriculums are embodied: a place that embodies a curriculum of love where odds are stacked against and where love and dream prevail, a place that embodies a curriculum of insurgency where courage, wisdom, and strength are regained to strive for what one stands for, a place that embodies a curriculum of necessary voices where silenced struggles are heard and felt, and a place that embodies too many curriculums to name them all. Nevertheless, they can be felt in the hearts of the graduates. In order to suspend (Tuck, 2009) retribution to my participants, I constantly remind myself that I have a duty to protect them.

Research Data and Supplementary Material