Critical Race English Education : New Visions, New Possibilities book cover
1st Edition

Critical Race English Education
New Visions, New Possibilities

ISBN 9780367276423
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
162 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Johnson’s visionary and much-needed book is a call for the transformation of English education to embrace rather than reject Blackness. Confronting the context of heightened racial violence against Black youth that continues to sweep across the United States, Johnson illuminates the interconnection between the physical and symbolic violence that unfolds in and outside the classroom and demonstrates the harm this causes to Black youth. Employing an original framework, Critical Race English Education, Johnson reveals how English education and ELA classrooms are dominated by eurocentric language and literacy practices, and provides a justice-oriented framework that combats anti-Black racism. Throughout the book, Johnson disperses love letters to Blackness, Black culture, and Black people, which serve as actions and practices for positive thinking and self-awareness about Blackness. Critical Race English Education is a movement for Black lives.

A crucial resource for pre-service ELA teachers, researchers, professors, and graduate students in language and literacy education, and sociology of education, this book offers classroom lessons, thematic units, sample activities, and other pedagogical and curricula practices that reconceptualize ELA pedagogies in humanizing ways and cater to the needs of students who come from racially and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Foreword

Foreword by Gloria Boutte

Intro A Critical Race Autopsy on Black Lives

Love Letter I: My Dad Said I Love You…And I Said It Back

1. But, It Is about Race…"That’s a Fact. Say It Louder for the People in the Back"

2. The Other Trayvon: Anti-black Racism and Violence Against Black Lives

3. Black(ness) Is, Black(ness) Ain’t: Critical Race English Education

Love Letter II: Michael Brown AKA "Big Mike"

4. Doin’ It Wrong

5. Part I "We Have to Bring it Real Hard, Who Else Gon Give it to‘em?"

6. Part II The Elephant is ALWAYS in the Room

Love Letter III: Promised Land

7. B(L)ack to the Future

Outro A Story about Black Laughter and A Call for Spiritual Literacies

Afterword by David Stovall

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Lamar L. Johnson is Associate Professor of Language and Literacy for Linguistic and Racial Diversity in the Department of English at Michigan State University, USA.


"Through a series of creative and tangible examples of what it means to work with Black youth, Dr. Johnson refuses to let us discard a simple question: What does it mean for Black youth to navigate the hostility and anti-Black violence of the US schooling system? Additionally, his series of meditations push educators to contemplate a question of fugitivity and the future: What does it mean to work from a space of love knowing that ‘school’ in its historical and contemporary function is never intended to do right by you?"

--David Stovall, University of Illinois Chicago, USA