Wilkerson-Byrd was, herself, a mother at the age of 15. In the southern Black community in which she grew up, something very special happened: with the support of her family and her community, Advis Dell Wilkerson-Byrd raised her child and continued with her education. Now armed with a PhD as well as tremendous life experience, Wilkerson-Byrd has written “Sheroes” not to condone teen pregnancy, but rather to help other young women overcome what may seem to be insurmountable odds.
“I know from experience what it means to have an opportunity for an education to be literally snatched out of my hands because of a teenage pregnancy,” says Wilkerson-Byrd. “Taking an in-depth look at my own experiences as a Black teenage mom through the Black feminist lens, I used autobiography as a methodology to spotlight the little known phenomenon of a successful teen mom—me.”
Wilkerson-Byrd is one of many “Sheroes” that readers will discover in her inspiring pages. “My wish is to build better lives for both teen moms and their children by promoting support, character, and education as a means to achieve their goals in life. A serious national effort to help teen moms achieve their goals could have a positive impact on both teen moms and their children,” she writes.
Advis Dell Wilkerson-Byrd is a former Business and Career Technology teacher, and the 2004 recipient of the H. M. and Norma Fulbright Scholarship. Wilkerson-Byrd earned her doctorate from Georgia Southern University and her widely reviewed dissertation, A Black Feminist Autobiographical Inquiry into the Experiences of a Teen Mom, is the basis of this book. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter.
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