We are excited to welcome Dr. Dwonna Goldstone who joins Texas State to launch the new African American Studies minor!
After 18 years at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee—where I taught African American literature and coordinated their African American Studies program—I am super excited to join the history department at Texas State, where I will also be coordinating the new African American Studies minor.
I am originally from Moline, Illinois, home of the John Deere Tractor, and I did my undergraduate degree in American Studies at the University of Iowa. After finishing my M.A.T. at Brown University, I taught high school English for three years in Fairfax County, Virginia, where I also coached 9th-grade girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ track. I wasn’t a very successful basketball coach, however; the team went 1-15 the first year and 7-9 the second year. In spite of that record, I enjoyed coaching and learned a lot—like losing is okay if we’re having fun.
I finished my PhD in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and my dissertation about black student integration eventually became my book—Integrating the Forty Acres: The Struggle for Racial Equality at the University of Texas (University of Georgia, 2006). I have written several articles about African American history and culture, including “Home Economics,” a memoir about growing up poor and black in a midwestern town and “Stirring Up Trouble,” an article about teaching race at a PWI.
I am currently working on three essays—one about Barbara Conrad Smith, a black undergraduate student at the University of Texas in its first year of integration (1956-7) who was removed from the school’s opera; a second titled “Teaching While Black: A Black Professor in Trump Land”; and a third on teaching feminism in a men’s prison. This past year, I taught a class at the Lois DeBerry Special Needs prison in Nashville, Tennessee, and my students read feminist novels such as Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie. My goal is to create an inside/out program at a prison in Texas, where Texas State students will take a class with students who are incarcerated.
This fall, I am teaching AAS 2310: Introduction to African American Studies. In the spring, I will teach AAS 2310 again and “Black Women. Black Protest.” I also plan to create new classes for the AAS minor, including “Race, Gender, and Sexuality”; “Blacks, Film, and Society”; “Negotiating the Color Line”; and “The Black Power Movement.” Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or come by my office (THM 205) if you have suggestions for classes or programming you would like to see offered in the minor or if just want to chat about your interests. You can also follow me on Instagram at dwonnanaomi.
When I am not teaching, writing, or creating programming for the African American Studies program, I train for half marathons, do CrossFit, and walk my dogs—Lena Horne, Ernie Banks, and Ralph Ellison. I also love to watch Judge Judy, so please come by my office and see my autographed picture of her!