I am a writer. As a Black woman educator and leader, I write books that I wish I could have read. And I write to right and (re)member our story. Two of my books, On Spiritual Strivings: Transforming an African American Woman’s Academic Life (SUNY) and Learning To (Re)member the Things We’ve Learned to Forget  were selected as Critics’ Choice Book Award winners by the American Educational Studies Association (AESA).

My latest book, The Spirit of Our Work: Black Women Teachers (Re)member (Beacon Press) was released November, 2021. It is a book that centers the spiritual lives of Black women educators, bringing together the wholeness of Black women’s lives and work full circle. It is a counter story to what we have forgotten that begins with the premise that Black teachers’ lives and work cannot be limited to the truncated identities as enslaved persons in the Americas that we have learned. Rather, through years of (re)search from Black women who have studied with me in Ghana, I share how Black women teachers and educational professionals heal and resist by (re)membering the length and breadth of Black identities and culture, starting with Africa as the foundation from which to empower themselves and their students. It is definitely the book I wish I could have read as a young woman, one that raises up experiences that have transformed my own life so powerfully — as a teacher, leader and most importantly, as a spiritual being who is (re)membering the greatness of our legacy. That is the spirit of our work.

Kudos to Dr. Dillard…

“I love you, Dr. D! You helped me find a piece of myself I never even knew was missing. You taught me how to “touch my own spirit.” We (Re)member: Black Women Teachers and the Spirit of Our Work will help you do the same…And each time you touch your own spirit, you will heal so that you can teach with the bravery of Harriet, Fannie Lou, Angela, and Cynthia.”

Dr. Bettina L. Love
Professor in Education, University of Georgia
Author of We Want to Do More Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

“Dr. Dillard creatively charges our minds and hearts through this very essential book.The five pursuits in the framework of (re)membering should be the new pre-planning tool for all educators who are responsible for teaching lesson plans or leading schools.”

Gholdy Muhammad
Author of Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy

The Spirit of Our Work beautifully anchors itself in the dynamism, creativity, and magic of Black women and girls. For all who teach and for all who learn, this book offers a brilliant roadmap for creating learning spaces in which we welcome and celebrate the fullness of our shared and expansive humanity.

Treva B. Lindsey
Author of Colored No More: Reinventing Black Womanhood in Washington, D.C.

“Cynthia Dillard beckons us to love, honor, and listen to Black women teachers who have always led and will always lead us to liberation and freedom.”

“Cynthia Dillard beckons us to love, honor, and listen to Black women teachers who have always led and will always lead us to liberation and freedom.”

Valerie Kinloch, Author of Harlem on Our Minds