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African schoolgirl writing on notebook during the lesson.

Growing up, my parents always instilled in me that getting a quality education would put me on the path to success. It’s the reason why I’ve dedicated my time at NWLC to educational justice, namely uplifting the voices and needs of Black girls and women. In fact, Black women and girls have played crucial and central roles with many social justice movements in the United States. To celebrate Black History Month and shine a light on some of my favorite podcastshere are five rarely told stories of educational justice featuring Black women or girls.  

Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment – Revisionist History 

Although Malcolm Gladwell is no stranger to controversy, his examination of the court’s reasoning in Brown v. Board of Education presents a compelling argument that the wrong lessons may have been learned from the landmark decision. Through historical testimonials from the women in the Brown family and Black teachers, Gladwell makes the case that post-Brown integration efforts didn’t go far enoughand how Black educators and students are still bearing the effects of those efforts. 

Black Parents Take Control, Teachers Strike Back Part I & II – Code Switch 

Full disclosure: this episode of Code Switch inspired my blog post. It’s an inspiring and frustrating story of Black resistance that fueled the longest teachers’ strike in U.S. history. The strike fundamentally altered the structure of the largest public school district in the country—yet few have ever heard of it. Come for the speech from one of the wokest junior high school valedictorians I’ve ever heard. Stay for yet another story you can shove in the face of racists who deign to say that Black parents aren’t involved in their children’s education.    

The Problem We All Live With Part I – This American Life 

Before The 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones chronicled the story of a school district in Missouri that tried integration by accident in 2013. And even though it took place almost 50 years later, the experiences of the Black students and families showed how little had changed since the integration fights of the 1960s. 

A is for Afrocentric – The Nod 

So much of Black history and education in the U.S. is laced with pain and struggle. But I want to leave you with joy and Black people exercising agency without institutionalized racism as a barrier. This episode of The Nod follows the decision of a Black couple making the decision of where to send their two-year-old daughter to preschool. Mom wants her to go to an Afrocentric school to instill cultural pride. Dad has concerns about what gender and racial limitations that would place on her. Listen to get insight into parental decision-making and evaluating culturally relevant and affirming curricular options.  

  • (audio) | (transcript not available) 
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