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The Dilemmas, Challenges, and Duality of an African-American Educational Historian

Derrick P. Alridge
Educational Researcher
Vol. 32, No. 9 (Dec., 2003), pp. 25-34
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3700021
Page Count: 10
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The Dilemmas, Challenges, and Duality of an African-American Educational Historian
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Abstract

This article examines the dilemmas and challenges of objectivity, presentism, and voice and agency I have encountered as an African-American historian of education whose research focuses on the education of Black people. A perplexing problem has been how to conduct good and "respectable" research while identifying with the African-American community I am researching. Drawing on personal research experiences and the selected work of historians and education researchers, I discuss how I have dealt with these methodological queries in my research. Despite dealing with the challenges and dilemmas of objectivity, presentism, and voice and agency in my research, I argue that the "double-consciousness" I face as an African-American scholar within the academy may be transcended by using solid and innovative conceptual and methodological approaches. The article concludes with a reiteration of emergent themes for conducting good research.

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