We are no one’s shrinking violets: Black women educators demand more in the time of COVID-19


  • Francheska Starks University of West Georgia, USA
  • S. Mia Obiwo University of Memphis, USA
  • Adrian Dunmeyer Douglass County Schools, USA
  • Arkeria Wright Clayton County Schools, USA
  • Christal Walker Georgia State University, USA




Black women educators, Black feminist thought, COVID-19, Counter-stories


The purpose of this article is to center the perspectives and experiences of five Black women educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. We use a lens of Black Feminist Thought, which is based in the everyday experiences of Black women, to present our narratives. Our study uses personal vignettes and cross-case analysis to identify key issues emanating from COVID-19—particularly those pertaining to our social locations as Black women educators across the spectrum of public education (e.g., elementary, high school, comprehensive university, research university). This study provides a supportive environment for voicing stories and developing useful strategies for coping with issues related to our social locations, including shifts in education and society.


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Author Biographies

Francheska Starks, University of West Georgia, USA

FRANCHESKA D. STARKS , Ph.D., is a former public-school teacher with experience teaching students in grades K-12. She is currently an instructor at the University of West Georgia and her research focuses on the implications of social inequities on Black women and educators more broadly. Email: fstarks1@gmail.com.

S. Mia Obiwo, University of Memphis, USA

S. MIA OBIWO, Ph.D., Her work examines the salience of urban teacher dispositions—a teacher’s (un)conscious attitudes and beliefs that directly influence their instructional practices and relationships with young children, families, schools, and communities. Email: smobiwo@memphis.edu

Adrian Dunmeyer, Douglass County Schools, USA

ADRIAN D. DUNMEYER, Ed.D., is a high school English teacher, writer, and researcher from Atlanta, GA. As a veteran high school teacher, Adrian uses her classroom to celebrate the identities and cultures of her students, while increasing literacy. As a researcher, her work centers Black women's work, and the intersectional experiences of Black girls and women in schools. Email: adriandunmeyer@gmail.com

Arkeria Wright, Clayton County Schools, USA

ARKERIA S. WRIGHT, Ed.D., is an elementary school teacher and professional child advocate. She began her work in education in 2005 as a literacy coach and student support advocate during her undergraduate studies at Spelman College. Dr. Wright earned her doctoral degree in Elementary Education specializing in Curriculum and Instruction in 2016. Email: Dr.ArkeriaWright@gmail.com

Christal Walker, Georgia State University, USA

CHRISTAL WALKER, M.A.T., began her teaching career in 2015 working with elementary guided reading, close reading, and writing in Brooklyn, New York with Achievement First Charter Schools. She is currently a full-time teacher and pursuing her doctorate in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Georgia State University with an anticipated graduation date May 2021. Email: Cwalker75@student.gsu.edu