History of Antiracism in Education

A TIMELINE

 

1800s

Black Literary Societies

  • Middle and upper class free black organizations

  • Built literacy for civic education

American Missionary Association

  • Abolitionist-minded group

  • Sent teachers to south post-emancipation

  • Established primary schools, high schools, and universities in Black communities

Free Public Education

  • Black communities advocated for public education

  • Their efforts resulted in public schools not just for Black students, but for White students in the South

Black Community Schools

  • Black communities advocated for Black educators to teach and lead schools for Black students

  • Black-run schools were pillars in the community

 

1900s

Antiracist Textbooks

  • Scholars and educators critically interrogated racist narratives of people of color in textbooks

  • Scholars wrote textbooks that countered the racist narrative of people of color

School Integration

  • NAACP mounted a campaign to to integrate schools across the nation

  • Brown V. Board of Education ruled that segregation was unconstitutional

Bilingual Education

  • After the integration of San Francisco schools, schools failed to provide education for English Language Learners

  • Kinney Kinmon Lau and other Chinese students filed a class action suit

  • Lau v. Nichols ruling effectively required English Language Learner programs across the country's schools

Freedom Schools

  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee fought against the miseducation of Black communities by establishing Freedom Schools

  • Freedom Schools offered intensive summer programs that promoted civic education

Black Panther Liberation Schools

  • Black Panthers formed the Intercommunal Youth Institute (later known as the Oakland Community School)

  • The school's mission was to equip students with the knowledge to navigate racist systems and structures--to educate to liberate.

Ethnic Studies

  • The Third World Liberation Front strike at San Francisco State University 

  • Ethnic studies is established as a result of this strike

Learning for Justice

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center founded Learning for Justice, formerly known as Teaching Tolerance

  • Learning for Justice went on to become a staple for educators, winning multiple awards for its quality publications and films which have been accessed by hundreds of thousands of educators

Culturally Responsive Teaching

  • Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings coined the concept of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, a framework of pedagogy that recognizes students' cultural backgrounds and equips them to confront societal racism

  • Building on Dr. Ladson-Billings' work, Dr. Geneva Gay coined Culturally Responsive Teaching which provides teachers with tools and strategies to implement Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

 

2000s

Free Minds, Free People

  • The first annual conference convened educators from across the nation to discuss and define the work of education for liberation

  • The conference has since been offered biannually

Black Lives Matter at School

  • The bold actions of educators of John Muir Elementary in Seattle, Washington inspired the city's educators to initiate a day of action

  • The action spread through the nation, evolving into a week of action and a year of purpose

Educators for Antiracism Conference

  • During a summer of nation-wide protests the educators from across the country grassroots organized a week-long conference on antiracism

  • This conference was attended by educators from all 50 states and 24 countries

  • The nonprofit Educators for Antiracism was established

Abolitionist Teaching Network

  • ATN was launched in the summer of 2020

  • ATN connects educators to activists, scholars, and resources necessary to engage in the work of abolition and antiracism in education

Scholarly Work

  • Scores of publications studying antiracism in education have been produced over the past decades

  • These resources span all aspects of education

Groups and Organizations

  • Groups working towards antiracism in education have mobilized in every corner of the country

Teacher/ Administrator Education

  • Colleges and Universities began offering certificates and degrees in education with a focus on antiracism

 

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