Searching for Other Brown Faces: Black Female Experiences of Schooling and the Academy
Keywords:autobiography, black feminist thought, counternarrative, race, gender
We use the notion of searching for other brown faces to autobiographically explore our schooling experiences in order to shine a light on the dismissal, isolation, and marginalization felt in the academy and the impact it potentially has on the trajectory of black women in certain higher education fields, particularly those who pursue education and teaching as a career path. We draw our understanding of self and weave together our stories through a framework of Black Feminist Thought (BFT) and position our voices as a Black women academics through autoethnographic counter storytelling. Ellis (2002 & 2004) contends that this methods centers an individual’s narrative as political, socially-just, and socially-conscious. “…I was encouraged to write myself, my struggle, my meaning into existence” (Taliaferro-Baszile, 2006, p. 89). The uniqueness of Black feminist thought is that it positions Black women at the center of understanding reality from a raced, gendered, and other category of different points of view; it empowers individuals to rearticulate reality created and accepted by the dominant group (Brock, 2011; Collins, 1986, 1989; Huckaby, 2013; Yancy, 2000). Black feminist thought supports the development of our stories and shared experiences in order to challenge dominant ideologies (Howard-Hamilton, 2003).