Tomeka was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina and spent much of her youth there until moving to Savannah. She and the rest of her family moved to the port city when her father, the late Williams “Bill” Davis, was hired as the head football coach at Savannah State, in 1986.
She states that it wasn’t hard growing up the daughter of a successful college football coach.
“By the time I was five, my dad had become a head coach so he wasn’t traveling on recruiting trips as much. By that time, it was something he was able to delegate to his assistants a little more. He was home for dinner every night. It was a good job for a parent, in that it allowed for a lot of flexibility,” she says.
Tomeka attended Myers Middle School for sixth grade and started attending Jenkins High School as a sophomore. “My mom and I moved to North Carolina after I finished sixth grade. Her dad had terminal cancer, so she moved to help take care of him. I completed ninth grade there. But it was a junior high /high school system, and high school didn’t start until 10th grade there, back then.”
At Jenkins High, Tomeka played on the basketball team. “I was all-city my junior and senior year.” She decided to run track her senior year and made it to the state meet. “I ran track in 12th grade. I ran the 800m and came in second in the region finals. I went to state but lost pretty badly in the qualifying round. I don’t think that was bad for someone who was clueless about track,” she added.
During the summer, Tomeka worked with the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) at Savannah State. It was at SSU where she began dating Radlciff Quarterman.
Radcliff went to Benedictine and later played football and ran track at Morehouse.
After finishing high school, in 1993, Tomeka matriculated at Spelman College in Atlanta. When asked what led her to attend Spelman, she answered “I followed Radcliff there. He was a year ahead of me coming out of high school and he decided to attend Morehouse. I was lucky in that I got a full tuition scholarship to Spelman. It was a DeWitt Wallace Scholarship, who was the owner of Reader’s Digest. He made a one million dollar gift to Spelman back in 1980, and when I was applying as a freshman, the administration decided to use interest from his initial gift to support promising students.”
Tomeka majored in psychology and graduated second in her class. She also played basketball at Spelman but admits “the program was small and underfunded.”
After getting her undergraduate degree, Tomeka stayed in school to work on advanced degrees. “I spent many years in graduate school, but that’s common for my line of work. I’ve been working at Georgia State since 2008.”
She has a MA in psychology and a PhD in sociology.
When asked was the fact that both her parents were educators play a role in you being a educator she responded by saying “No, I don’t think so. Their work definitely played a role in my pursuit of an advanced degree, but not becoming a professor.”
She is a tenured professor at GSU and has published articles in numerous books and journals.
Tomeka and Radcliff were married in 1998 in Greensboro, North Carolina and they have two daughters. “We have two children, a ten year old (Camille) and a one year old (Lourdes).