A charge to keep I have: Black women teachers’ spirituality and the implications for educational leadership

Darrius Stanley, Brandi Hinnant Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Black educators represent a small percentage of the educator workforce. In this manuscript, we examine the institutional and leadership conditions which contribute to the liminal presence of Black women educators specifically. We nuance the discussion about Black women educators to help educational leaders gain a deeper understanding of their: commitments to Black students, experiences with organizational oppression, and navigational techniques. We outline the ways that four Black women educators center religio-spiritual praxis in their classrooms. We use a phenomenological case study design to explore the narratives and religo-spiritual perspectives of four Black women educators. The authors leverage womanist theology to examine Black women educators’ work, commitments and ways of knowing. This manuscript utilizes interviews, artifact and document collection to paint a holistic picture. There are three major themes: strength, peace and womanist activism. These findings suggest that Black women educators are uniquely positioned to navigate, and help their Black students navigate, oppressive schooling conditions. This manuscript nuances the discussion about Black women educators in three key ways: (1) repositions their expertise in supporting Black students, (2) can increase educational leaders’ understanding of their commitments and realities, and (3) expands the teacher turnover discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-837
Number of pages17
JournalGender and Education
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Faith and religion
  • leadership
  • race and ethnicities
  • theory
  • women


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