Guest Editorial Comment: Historical and Contemporary Contextualizations on Religion and Spirituality and Black Educational Outcomes

By Madyun, Na'im; Witherspoon, Noelle | The Journal of Negro Education, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

Guest Editorial Comment: Historical and Contemporary Contextualizations on Religion and Spirituality and Black Educational Outcomes


Madyun, Na'im, Witherspoon, Noelle, The Journal of Negro Education


While the rest of the nation engages in debates around the issue of religion and education, this debate largely ignores the historic saliency of religion and spirituality in the Black community and education. Despite attempts to leech out this important cultural construct, religion and/or spirituality has been and still is an integral aspect in the education of Black students and the professional practice of educators of color. In fact, in the Black American community, religion and spirituality have always been central to the "project of seeking change" (Sawyer, 2000, p. 297) in schools and communities. Historically, the idea of "social justice and Black religion seemed inseparable" (Raboteau, 2000, p. 290). Religion and spirituality were areas in which African Americans' issues of oppression could finally be engaged and often the very existence of this religious freedom was rooted in the idea of protest (Frederick, 2003). Taking into account the historical significance of religion and spirituality to anti-oppression, community uplift, and notions of care, contemporary education scholars would do well to cultivate these long-standing connections as a means for advancing contemporary struggles for social justice and counterhegemonic praxis.

Educational scholarship continues to explore the workings of social justice to ameliorate inequities for those who have not been well served in schools. Although the concept of social justice remains a somewhat inchoate term in educational literature, the Black community has a long history built around the constructs of advocacy, justice, and social change. There is an underdeveloped space in educational research that links spirituality and religion as a process that invites and participates in the schooling of Black youth. In particular, exploring the historicity of religion and spirituality offers a scaffold for work that links ordinary, everyday acts of justice, religion, and spirituality and protests a culture that systematically and institutionally assaults the worth of Black students.

William Tate (2005) asserted that researchers follow this historical tradition and look to moral and spiritual "texts" to unpack and interrogate the workings of racism and other forms of marginalization in schools, but also to examine ways in which religion and spirituality have been present in decision-making and resolutions of problems affecting Black students. While Tate did not offer the ways in which this moral and spiritual grounding is made manifest, this special issue of The Journal of Negro Education seeks to explore the significance of religion and spirituality to the educational enterprise of social justice in schools. Rather than attempting to answer whether the religious tradition is true or attempt to find broad agreements, this issue seeks to promote research that carefully interpret what a religious or spiritual tradition means for the individuals who hold them, and its import in the schooling of Black students.

This special issue particularly privileges the value of historical and "scholarly ontologies (understandings of how things exist), axiologies (values, ethics, aesthetics, religion, spirituality), and epistemologies (ways of knowing)" (Smith, Yosso, & Solórzano, 2007, p. 563). It also promotes educational research that provides recommendations for leveraging the political, social, and cultural capital of the African American church to improve educational outcomes. Articles that reflect and integrate the complexity of the African American experience and translate that research into practical recommendations both inside and outside the classroom are included in this volume.

To better contextualize this special issue, we reached out to a few individuals who have placed their scholarly finger on the pulse of the African American church. We asked them to provide an assessment of the role the African American church, religiosity, and spirituality has played on educational outcomes in both historical and progressive terms. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Guest Editorial Comment: Historical and Contemporary Contextualizations on Religion and Spirituality and Black Educational Outcomes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.