Rupture, not injury: reframing repair for Black and Indigenous youth experiencing school pushout

Jade Nixon, Sefanit Habtom, Eve Tuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, the authors describe their multi-year youth participatory action research project, Making Sense of Movements (MSOM), with Black and Indigenous high school students in Toronto. Youth co-researchers in MSOM designed a study on school pushout that reveals the pervasiveness of racism in schools and the inadequacy of responses to racist incidents by school personnel. School staff and teachers often treat racist incidents as isolated events that can be easily resolved. However, the authors situate Black and Indigenous students’ experiences of racism in their high schools within the ongoing legacies of settlement and slavery. Learning from Black and Indigenous feminist theories of rupture and refusal – see Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America (1997); Simpson’s Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life across the Borders of Settler States (2014); and Tuck and Yang’s ‘Decolonization is not a metaphor’ (2012) – the authors invite readers to reframe the assumed ease and completeness of repair. They theorize racism and antiblackness as a rupture rather than an injury, which has important implications for school policy and how schools address racism. By moving beyond reparative frameworks, the authors engage rupture as a more meaningful starting place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-160
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Visual Culture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • anti-Indigenous racism
  • antiblack racism
  • refusal
  • rupture
  • school pushout
  • youth participatory action research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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