Black Generational Dialogue(s): Unpacking Tensions and Learning the Commonalities of Education Values in One Rural Community Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Beverly, Monifa Green
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • This dissertation is a generational study of the experiences of Black residents in Nottoway County, Virginia. The study illustrates moments in time, which reflect the educational, social and economic experiences of these residents. Through oral history narratives presented, I weave together stories using the interviews of 21 residents, an intergenerational focus group, and archival data. Generations denote discourse communities, chosen to demonstrate changes in the educational system in Nottoway County. The generations reflect those educated (1) in segregated schools (ages 55 years and older), (2) during desegregation (45-55 year olds), (3) in only desegregated schools (25-35 year olds), and (4) recent graduates (18-21 year olds). This research seeks to understand the values of education for both older- and younger-Black generations within the context of one rural area. In order to understand these values, this analysis is both emic and culturally sensitive; moreover, the analysis and interpretations are coconstructed with participants. The narratives presented in this study are holistic accounts; moreover, I discuss positionality, reflexivity, and most importantly, an understanding that the knowledge of my participants is a necessary condition for understanding the phenomenon. This research ensures that the educational stories of Black residents will not go unheard. It is important to document life histories as this community continues to wrestle with racism, economic deprivation, and generational divisions. In addition, the process of desegregation and the growing phenomenon of resegregration must be contextualized in the history of education for Black Americans and the continual struggle for at least equal education.
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  • In Copyright
  • Noblit, George W.
  • Open access

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