Copyright By Courtney Sherman Robinson 2013
The Dissertation Committee for Courtney Sherman Robinson certifies that this is the approved version of the following dissertation: The School to Prison Pipeline and the Voices of Formerly Incarcerated African American Males Committee: _________________________________ Kevin Michael Foster, Supervisor _________________________________ Jennifer Adair _________________________________ Anthony Brown _________________________________ Marie-Anne Suizzo _________________________________ Luis Urrieta
The School to Prison Pipeline and the Voices of Formerly Incarcerated African American Males by Courtney Sherman Robinson, B.F.A.; M.Ed. Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy The University of Texas at Austin May 2013
iv Acknowledgements My husband and friend Tushon Robinson has supported my graduate studies fearlessly, abundantly, and lovingly. He listened. He gave me a strong shoulder to cry on and encouraged me to keep going when I did not think I could. He stepped in with household responsibilities when I travelled for my research or spent long nights writing. He spent many hours being my in-house technical support without complaint. My children Jamaar and Taia have been my source of inspiration and the best cheerleaders in the world. They were understanding, patient, and encouraging when mommy was spending long days and nights at the coffee shop. I am deeply indebted to my committee members, Drs. Kevin Michael Foster, Marie-Anne Suizzo, Luis Urrieta, Jennifer Adair, and Anthony Brown. I am grateful for the ways Dr. Foster engaged my work. He listened to me talk about my project for hours, spent hours reading my work, and providing great insight and wisdom. Dr. Suizzo’s mentorship has been unwavering since 2002 when I entered graduate school. She introduced me to research, conference presentations, and publishing. She encouraged me to pursue a PhD when it did not seem possible and has supported me throughout the journey. Dr. Urrieta challenged me to think more critically about my work. His ethnographic work is inspiring. Dr. Urrieta’s thoughtful attention to narratives helped me consider issues of race more intentionally. Dr. Adair encouraged me to work on my writing. Additionally, she supported me as I struggled with motherhood and feeling guilty about how much time I was spending not focused on my children in the way I desired. She reminded me that they are the reason I am doing this work. I am grateful for Dr. Brown’s gracious guidance and support. He helped me understand the importance of reading archival documents related to my project. I must also acknowledge Dr. Douglas Foley who encouraged me not to shy away from doing research in my community. My parents Karon and Jerry Thomas’s abundant love has carried me through life. I aspire to be as kind and patient as my mama Karon. I appreciate all she sacrificed for me to be the person I am today. Additionally, I am grateful to my daddy Jerry for stepping in when my biological father was not there. My dad Jerry has loved me endlessly. I am also grateful to my biological father Donald Bright for helping me
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