|dc.description.abstract||With respect to the discipline of art education, there is an understanding that a smaller percentage of art teachers of color exist than in the overall general teacher workforce (Galbraith & Grauer, 2004). The following life history case studies of three African American art teachers, examine—through personal narratives—how each experiences and reconciles their social and professional identities of African American/artist/teacher. Aiming to locate their life stories as they operate in particular social, historical, and institutional circumstances, the task with each participant in this study was to understand and render elements of their lives in context. Looking at the career decisions African Americans have made about teaching as a profession, when a multitude of options are available and more specifically, those who have embraced teaching art, this study reveals how Black Americans have in fact, negotiated full participation in spaces where they are often discussed as under-represented.
Employing counter narratives of agency and resiliency through creation of written portraits, this study revealed how each participant negotiated and embraced these multiple identities. Applying methods of narrative analysis and portraiture and using an Afrocentric paradigm in tandem with theories of agency (social cognitive theory) and social identity, the researcher gaze is turned toward an affirmation of forces that surround and embrace these individuals through an initial exploration of the anthropological concept of fictive kinship. In doing so, a case is made for the implementation of culturally responsive pedagogy and mentorship.||