The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the US education system overnight. The antiracist rebellion in the streets has shown a light on the deep racial inequality in America.
Educators and activists who have nurtured radical dreams for public schools now face an unprecedented moment of change, and the challenge of trying to teach and organize online in the midst of unfolding crises.
Scholar and author Bettina Love’s concept of abolitionist teaching is about adopting the radical stance of the movement that ultimately overthrew slavery, but persisted and insisted on freedom long before that victory.
What would freedom look like in our schools?
How can abolitionist educators make the most of this moment to fight for humane, liberatory, anti-racist schooling for black youth and for all youth?
Bettina L. Love is an award-winning author and the Athletic Association Endowed Professor at University of Georgia. She is the author of We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom and Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South.
Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad is an Associate Professor of Language and Literacy at Georgia State University. She also serves as the director of the GSU Urban Literacy Clinic. Dr. Muhammad’s scholarship has appeared in leading educational journals and books. Some of her recognitions include the 2014 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English, Promising New Researcher Award, the 2016 NCTE Janet Emig Award, the 2017 GSU Urban Education Research Award and the 2018 UIC College of Education Researcher of the Year. She is the author of Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy.
Dena Simmons, Ed.D., is an activist, educator, and student of life from the Bronx, New York. She is the Assistant Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. She writes and speaks nationally about social justice and culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy as well as creating emotionally intelligent and safe classrooms within the context of equity and liberation. She is the author of the forthcoming book, White Rules for Black People (St. Martin’s Press, 2021).
Brian Jones is the Associate Director of Education at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He writes about black education history and politics.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.