Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Some Laws Demand To Be Broken


Coined by scholar Jarvis Givens, “fugitive pedagogy” refers to the subversive strategies Black educators used to teach students the skills to think and to survive despite a system of education that was designed to only prepare them for manual labor.

--Lisa Delpit, MacArthur "genius" honoree, author of Multiplication Is For White People (quoted here)

"Jarvis Givens is a [young!] professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a faculty affiliate in the department of African & African American Studies at Harvard University" (Harvard bio). His first book in 2021 was titled Fugitive Pedagogy because it traced the history of Black educators -- either informal teachers or licensed instructors -- who managed to pass along to their Black students knowledge and information that they weren't meant to have. That's the fugitive part. The pedagogy consisted of "This is who you are, this is who we are, this is how we got here, this is how we've managed to survive here."

Some Black educators are warning that new days have dawned where the teaching of racial reality can get you canned. Fugitive pedagogy becomes a thing again, but it shouldn't be the tool of Black teachers only. White teachers who know a hawk from a handsaw should also participate in undermining the conservative push to make everything seem as rosy as possible and the status quo as guilt-free as a Sunday picnic.

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