Term of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

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

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 2

John Weaver

Committee Member 3

Sonia Carlyle

Committee Member 3 Email



This is an inquiry into Southern cultures, Black traditions, and Black women with a focus on the life of one Black woman educator. Drawing upon the works of Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning African American woman, novelist, and master storyteller, Toni Morrison (1970, 1973, 1976, 1987, 1988, 1993, 2003, & 2008); activist and Black feminist protest thinker and writer, bell hooks (1981, 1984, 1995, & 2000); the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, activist, and womanist, Alice Walker (1983); the Black feminist thinker and writer, Patricia Hills Collins (1998, 2000), and the critical race theorist and the first tenured African-American professor of Law at Harvard University, Derrick Bell (1992, 1995); I create a composite (He, 2003) main character, Marie Sincerely Lucky, an ordinary farm girl from a rural Southern community. I utilize Marie as a persona to tell key life events and experiences using fiction (which is not widely accepted in academia as a methodology) and the seasonal metaphor (literal and Biblical) which becomes the titles of chapters and sections throughout my dissertation. The novellas section begins with an introduction and background of the main character. Each novella begins with a prelude that introduces time, place, and setting and ends with an interlude that summarizes and theorizes the novella. This study is intended to serve as an account of one woman's journey through oppression (racial, sexual, class, 2 and cultural) to womanhood. Marie's life is broken down into specific seasons: early childhood (with stepdad and after stepdad), the teen years, and adulthood (relationships, teaching career, military, and doctoral candidate). Because teachers are farmers who plant kernels of knowledge in hopes that they grow into some greater understanding, it is my intention to challenge some stereotypes about Southern Blacks, reveal beliefs and culture, history, and experiences that many Black females encounter on a daily basis to provide these teachers with an understanding of who they may be teaching. Although my inquiry is regional (Black rural Southern community), the issues addressed are universal. I hope to also assist all stakeholders in understanding some deep-seated issues and to shed light on Southern traditions, Black cultures, Black women, and Black children.

Research Data and Supplementary Material