“Racism in America has been the subject of serious scholarship for decades. At Harvard University Press, we’ve had the honor of publishing some of the most influential books on the subject. The excerpts in this volume—culled from works of history, law, sociology, medicine, economics, critical theory, philosophy, art, and literature—are an invitation to understand anti-Black racism through the eyes of our most incisive commentators. Readers will find such classic selections as Toni Morrison’s description of the Africanist presence in the White American literary imagination, Walter Johnson’s depiction of the nation’s largest slave market, and Stuart Hall’s theorization of the relationship between race and nationhood. More recent voices include Khalil Gibran Muhammad on the pernicious myth of Black criminality, Elizabeth Hinton on the link between mass incarceration and 1960s social welfare programs, Anthony Abraham Jack on how elite institutions continue to fail first-generation college students, Mehrsa Baradaran on the racial wealth gap, Nicole Fleetwood on carceral art, and Joshua Bennett on the anti-Black bias implicit in how we talk about animals and the environment.”
“Reality pedagogy involves connecting academic content to events happening in the world that affect students. The curriculum can weave in specific references to the neighborhoods where young people are from, inequities that they and their families are hurt by, and protests in the community. But that doesn’t mean these lessons are always serious. Students can compete to show their knowledge through art, games, and music.”
“As the pandemic has upended school, summer plans, and daily life for millions of teenagers, many are turning to a podcast to cope. “Teenager Therapy,” hosted by five rising seniors at Loara High School in Anaheim, Calif., has become a lifeline for kids and a breakout hit.”
“What does a culturally competent educator do differently? Cultural competency is a progressive state of professionalism in which one: becomes cognizant of how racial bias and inequity have been embedded in our culture and how our cultural values and beliefs influence professional practices, adapts professional practices to create more equitable student outcomes, dismantles inequitable policies and practices that limit access and opportunity, and relinquishes their privileges in exchange for championing equity and disrupting injustice.”
“Perhaps, then, it is not a bad time to turn to poetry—and particularly to give those children who will have to go to school online in the fall and are driving their parents to the edge some valuable educational successes. Get them to memorize some poems and declaim them, then talk about what they mean.”
Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.
Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.
– Peter Nilsson