Teaching for Black Lives

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Published by Rethinking Schools, Teaching for Black Lives, is a direct response to the movement for Black lives and rec­ognizes that anti-Black racism constructs Black people and Blackness as undeserving of equal or humane treatment in society. The book’s authors reject and resist this construct by providing educators with critical perspectives on how schools perpetuate anti-Blackness, and offers educators concrete examples of what it looks like to humanize Black people in curriculum, teaching, and policy.

This beautiful full color book is a compilation of essays, teaching activities, role plays, poems, and artwork, which highlight the movement for Black student lives, the school-to-prison-pipeline, Black history, gentrification, intersectional Black identities, and more. Editors Jesse Hagopian, Dyan Watson, and Renée Watson illuminate how teachers can connect the Teaching for Black Lives curriculum to young people’s lives and highlight the potential in encouraging and supporting student activ­ism and collective action.

The five sections of the book are:

  • Making Black Lives Matter in our Schools
  • Enslavement, Civil Rights and Black Liberation
  • Gentrification, Displacement and Anti-Blackness
  • Discipline, the Schools-to-Prison Pipeline and Mass Incarceration
  • Teaching Blackness, Loving Blackness and Exploring Identity

Each section represents a major aspect of the Black experience that we believed is not often taught–or not taught well—yet is critical for empowering Black students to understand their own identities and challenge the intuitional racism they face.

"This book is not just for teachers in the classroom, but also for those of us who care about making Black lives matter in the community. It should be required reading for all who care about the future of Black youth."
— Opal Tometi, #BlackLivesMatter co-founder and Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration

"This is essential. Every school in the country needs this. No book better unpacks and gives color to the modern movement we're in than this."
— Shaun King, Activist and Journalist

“In this edited volume, we learn that Black Lives Matter is not just a rallying cry in the movement against police abuse and violence, but it is also a critical framework for understanding the persistent attacks on public education…From students, to educators, to a public that cares about public education, this book is a must-read to know the issues at stake and the strategies necessary to win.”
— Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University and author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

“Every teacher in America needs to pick up this book.”
— Linda Sarsour, National Co-Chair of the Women’s March and co-founder of MPower Change

“Teaching for Black Lives is a moral lifeline for all educators looking to dehumanize our schools and society through education, love, and action.”
— Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price, Educator and National Organizer of Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action