On Spiritual Strivings

Transforming an African American Woman's Academic Life

By Cynthia B. Dillard

Subjects: African American Studies
Series: SUNY series in Women in Education
Paperback : 9780791468128, 154 pages, March 2007
Hardcover : 9780791468111, 154 pages, June 2006

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Table of contents


1. The Substance of Things Hoped For, The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Examining an Endarkened Epistemology in Educational Research and Leadership

2. What Is It and Where Does It Live? Toward Defining Spirit within a Research and Teaching Paradigm

3. Walking Ourselves Back Home: The Education of Teachers With/In the World

4. Looking at the Real Nature of Things: Life and Death as One Eternal Moment in Teaching and Research

5. Suddenly but Always Queen: Embracing a Methodology of Surrender in Research and Teaching

6. Akwanbo: From Speaking Words to Inviting the Voice of Spirit in Research

7. Out of My Darkness I Find My Light: Naming Self, Naming Spirit

8. Coming "Full Circle": Creating and Being on Purpose


Offers both a theoretical and concrete example of what W. E. B. Du Bois called “spiritual strivings. ”


Winner of the 2008 Critics' Choice Awards presented by the American Educational Studies Association

This engaging book offers a personal look at how centering spirituality in an academic life transforms its very foundations—its epistemology, paradigm, and methods—and becomes the site for spiritual healing and service to the world. Focusing primarily on her work in Ghana, West Africa, Cynthia B. Dillard presents a unique perspective on Africa as a site for transformative possibilities for African American academics/scholars and explores the deeper spiritual meanings of being "African. " Through poetry, personal narrative, meditations, and journal entries, Dillard shares her experiences as an African American scholar and, in the process, provides a concrete example of what W. E. B. Du Bois called "spiritual strivings. "

Cynthia B. Dillard is Associate Professor of Education at The Ohio State University. In June 2001 the community of Mpeasem, Ghana, honored her efforts in building a community center and preschool there by enstooling her as Queen Mother Nana Mansa II, during a traditional African ritual ceremony.