Education; rural; Minority teachers; Rural conditions; Southern States
This paper explores the ways in which immigrant and migrant women educators in the rural South understand and construct narratives of their lives. The ‘Black’ Caribbean and Mexican heritage women educators in this study experience and interpret events in their lives, as women, minorities, postcolonial ‘subjects,’ and outsiders in the rural South, a region traditionally dominated by white patriarchal norms and prejudices. We assert that from this position of multiple marginality they construct important insights into the nature of education in the rural South. As so-called “Third-World women” living in the “First World” of the United States, the interpretations that this group of immigrant and migrant women make of their lives illuminate the ‘real,’ yet fluid (Moya & Hames-Garcia, 2000), nature of identity and representation in this nation and in the “New” South. The experiences of these women clearly reveal that identity categories provide useful theoretical and practical understandings of often problematic constructs such as race, gender, social class and ethnicity and highlight the fact that experiences and interpretations vary within and across these identity categories. Thus, how these women respond to the South demonstrates the impact of significant continuities and discontinuities as these educators negotiate their identities in unfamiliar spaces.