Dean Dr. Leslie Fenwick discusses her book on the American education system – The Peak

Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick speaks to the audience about her book at the Howard University Bookstore. Photo by Hunter Nicole Stevens.

Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Education, gave a book talk at the Howard University Bookstore for her recently published book, Jim Crow’s Pink Slip: The Untold Story of Black Principals and Teacher Leadership.

The event takes place on the second floor of the bookstore on September 21 from 4-6 pm. Fenwick greeted each audience member personally and shook their hands graciously. Dr. Gregory Carr, who teaches African American Studies at Howard University, moderated the event. The two had previously met at Ohio University, where they both earned graduate degrees.

Fenwick’s book, published May 3, discusses the ways in which she believes the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision has negatively impacted the education system. The book takes time to reflect on what Fenwick sees as injustices against black educators in an effort to continue systemic racism through public education.

“Black educators at the time were concerned about the different funding sources for black and white education and moved in the direction of wanting to see equal funding, and I think that inspired Brown’s support,” Fenwick said in the book.

Fenwick shared that her own parents attended segregated schools and thought they were better than segregated schools. She tells the story of her parents’ friends who were college graduates, and how she saw the importance of higher education at a young age. They would talk about education and the adversity they face every day at poker. That background, along with her father, who was also an educator, drove Fenwick’s struggle to improve schools for black students, teachers and principals.

When an audience member asked Fenwick how people can get more black students to become educators, she said, “I want me to teach them how to be a professor through my lifestyle. That’s why we need to be there. I think teachers can model.”

Fenwick talks about how she persevered in writing books while tackling her career as dean and other academic endeavors. “I’m looking at Vice Provost Dr. Reed — he’s done the award-winning book. It’s not ‘all or nothing’. It’s, ‘You’re learning learning is resistance. Learning is revolutionary, observation is revolutionary Yes. It’s changing you, and it’s going to have an impact.”

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Fenwick is also a nationally recognized scholar of educational policy and leadership studies and a former urban K-12 school teacher and administrator. Fenwick’s articles on education have appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Education Week, The Huffington Post, and Various Issues in Higher Education. In 2020, she was also selected as a finalist in the administration of U.S. Department of Education Secretary of Education Joe Biden.

Dr. Fenwick is a co-founder of the Howard University-American Association of School Administrators. Howard University – The American Association of School Administrators, a partnership between the Howard University School of Education (HUSOE) and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), is the organization of school district administrators in the United States to administer the City Administrators Academy, which provides current and Aspiring school superintendents take a different approach to ensuring success in urban schools and recruit a new generation of minority educators as superintendents.

“Jim Crow’s Pink List” is available at the Howard University Bookstore. On the second floor is the Howard University Authors Corner, which highlights books written by Howard alumni and professors. There, one can find Fenwick’s paperback for $34.00. People can order her book online from Amazon for $34.00, while the Kindle e-book costs $25.99.

Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett

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