A Pedagogy for Black People: Why Naming Race Matters

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This article suggests pedagogical naming matters to the education of Black people. It refuses the idea of a universalist pedagogy for all, and thereby unmasks that which has been rendered invisible in teaching and learning, i.e., the Black self—so as to recover it so that it might be nurtured. In doing so, the article illuminates an important set of elements that a pedagogy for Black people must possess—such as a rootedness in a freedom that goes beyond justice; the development of critical consciousness, or “wokeness”; and a value for Black life and Black lives—answering Dumas“s(2010) question, what is ‘Black” in Black education? It concludes by suggesting that Black education must hold in place the possibility for Black futures without clinging to ”an organic Black conservativism” that mythologizes and tragically over–romanticizes a fictive Black past. Thus, even when looking back, a pedagogy for Black people must always peer forward while simultaneously resisting the impulse for erasure, where race gets lost in the muddling stew of pluralism, or what is considered here to be false collectivism. By this, a pedagogy for Black people is about Black people, useful for the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and political emancipation of not only the bruised Black body but also the tethered Black souls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalEquity and Excellence in Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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