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D provide historical or cultural context to anchor her stories it devolves into a rushed list of historical touch points that mimic the ways that black history and black cultural study is reduced distorted and comodified by the textbook industry the very structure she s trying to critiue A particularly frustrating example is her mention of the Atlanta Child Murders Love mentions the incident superficially then pivots immediately to discussing how black girls are criminalized in school and how they experience violence at disproportionate rates While this may be true in comparisson to white girls it lacks useful context Not for nothing most of the Atlanta Child Murder victims were young black boys Many were immediately dismissed as feral runaways bad ids and dropouts which stalled the investigation into why they were missing until parents and community got involved If Love had wanted to talk about gendered violence in the school system rather than just parrot surface level intersectionality this was a missed opportunity to talk about how the over prevalence of white women in desegregated schools is directly correlated to school discipline regimes that funnel black boys primarily but black girls as well into prisons and foster care White fears of black boys agression grit were hypersexualized and became the main driver for school segregation and the and underlying cause of the severity
of punishment that remove black boys from school I had hope when earlier in the book she punishment that remove black boys from school I had hope when earlier in the book she it clear that intersectionality is not about ignoring boys and men but it didn t pan out Really glaring errors like this are abundant and I just wish she had had someone readingediting it with an eye for clarifying the complexitiesWhile I really appreciated the apparent vulnerability of Love s storytelling style I found her engagement with theory espescially around race not only incomplete but timid in a way that bends away from the justice seeking abolitionism she makes "the center of her work Her belated too brief mention of "center of her work Her belated too brief mention of role on the BOARD OF A CHARTER SCHOOL is another missed opportunity to use her story to tell the truth about the messy ways we participate in the system There were several instances where she seemed to sacrifice clarity for an attempt at poetry Her use of the word dark was grounded in a critical reading of Dubois s work trying to understand how black people coming out of slavery were to achieve full citizenship and dignity Love has clearly done a deep dive into Dubois s lifelong struggle with this uestion She however doesn t take into account the specificity of the black experience and uses dark to mean of a color than a political condition in order to apply it to anyone not white This problematic because it projects a togetherness of thought and action that simply isn t true and obscures the investment of non black groups in weaponized anti blackness Love is somewhat forthcoming about the anti black roots of some people of color group ideologies but never truly makes it clear how pervasive it is to parasitize off of black people for other groups to access whiteness and escape oppression In the theory chapter she even dedicates a significant portion of the Critical Race Theory section to other forms of CRT in a way that I think mimics the theoretical parasitismDon t get me wrong I m passionate about this critiue because I got a lot out of reading it I think it s a good book for ids studying media literacy race and education or civics to learn from parts of it but its flaws almost reuire a shadow curriculumFinally I abandoned the notion that "there would be any talk about what s after abolitionaka reparations educational restructuring to right the wrongs were " would be any talk about what s after abolitionaka reparations educational restructuring to right the wrongs were surviving Love comes so close in accounting for our losses fired black teachers soul murdered black students but never discussed the implication of seeking redress Every educator should read this book Period. Nal freedom not merely reform teachers parents and community leaders must approach education with the imagination determination boldness and urgency of an abolitionist Following in the tradition of activists like Ella Baker Bayard Rustin and Fannie Lou Hamer We Want to Do More Than Survive introduces an alternative to traditional modes of educational reform and expands our ideas of civic engagement and intersectional justic. As a white teacher in a very white school I ve desperately been seeking ways to challenge my own bias
My Own Culturally Taught Racism own culturally taught racism own bigotry This is a systemic problem and it had to start with me looking at myself I have an MA in ethnic literature and spent an entire higher educational career challenging norms and reading about experiences outside my own But now as a professional how do I pass on this personal journey to my own students How do I challenge them without pushing what I now to be true In short how do I awaken awareness in students that have too much privilege to even The Pavement Arena know they have itHonestly this book made me feel like there was nothing I could do at first The experiences and stories were told from communities with so much diversity than we experience For the small number of students of color that I have had over the years I have worked to create a safe space in my room and to give them voice and representation I suppose my real issue is with my white students who don t see their own racism or privilege or buy in to systems of power This book pushed me pretty hard to really look at how I talk about ones civic duties I came to realize that while I try to expose my students to the difficult issues of race we still face in this country that I have to show them that speaking out about it doesn t make you a bad or radical person To work to root out racism the systematic repression of people of color for economic and political power that I have to talk about what people are doing to fight these power structures but without telling anyone what to think or believe In short I need to pose strong uestions and then letids talk This book has pushed me beyond my classroom walls into deep conversations with my coworkers What we have determined is that we need to start a social justice club at our school where we can teach and discuss HOW to put ideas and frustrations into action Our mainly white students are crying out to take action and to talk about their fears for their futures What this book taught me is that we really have to provide that space and allow these Dungeon kids to step into their power to make their future better and brighter for all I sponged up every word in MORE THAN SURVIVE it spoke deeply and directly to theind of teacher I try to be to the ind of teaching I believe in Love s antiracist analysis struck every right chord her theorizing of the educational survival complex critiue of the no excuses gimmicks of grit and zest and ultimate framework for abolitionist teaching built on mattering freedom dreaming solidarity and resistanceThe snag for me it felt in some ways like only half a book all
THEORY NO PRACTICE IN THE PENULTIMATEno practice In the penultimate Love effuses over theory as her North Star a steadfast tool and location for healing 132 "I dig theory too and I think Love s theorizing around abolition in education is absolutely "dig theory too and I think Love s theorizing around abolition in education is absolutely Still Love herself admits Theory does not solve issues only action and solidarity can do that 132 It s certainly not Love s responsibility to write than theory But I think I needed as her reader fuller sketches of what abolitionist teaching looks like in practice for it to take on lasting weight as a theory In other words I was hungry for case studies of abolitionist praxis her theory in action And she does gloss it in a section called The Work in her brilliant chapter on freedom dreaming she spends 14 pages offering one example after another from the militancy of the Chicago Teachers Union and intersectionality of Black Youth Project to the campaign for Congress of Jahana Hayes and Marley Dias girl of color book drive But I wanted full chapters about The Work in depth looks inside classrooms unions and other radical homes of abolitionist teaching In all Love s MORE THAN SURVIVE is an incredible primer on radical educating that I want every teacher to read And it s truly up to us to figure out how to make the freedom Drawing on personal stories research and historical events an esteemed educator offers a vision of educational justice inspired by the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionistsDrawing on her life's work of teaching and researching in urban schools Bettina Love persuasively argues that educators must teach students about racial violence oppression and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical Reams come true Should be MANDATORY reading for all educators Some books you read fast because you can t take in information fast enough This book is one you read slow because every morsel of information is big and powerful and makes you thinkAll educators should read this I wish I could take a class with her Every educator whether you teach BIPOC students or not needs to read this book I d actually recommend owning it so you can reread it every time you need to check your privilege or lend it to someone who seriously needs toOne of the criticisms of a book with Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom in its title is that Love doesn t necessarily offer real teachingpedagogical practices for educators I d argue otherwise You ll uickly discover in this book that abolitionist teaching is not a noun It s a verb a verb she never claims to provide a prescription solution for but rather a painstakingly long list of ways the systemic racism in our country has failed its BIPOC studentsLove writes Abolitionist teaching is not a teaching approach It is a way of life a way of seeing the world and a way of taking action against injustices It seeks to resist agitate and tear down the educational survival complex through teachers who work in solidarity with their schools community to achieve incremental changes in their classrooms and schools for students in the present day while simultaneously freedom dreaming and vigorously creating a vision for what schools will be when the educational survival complex is destroyed Abolitionist teaching is as much about tearing down old structures and ways of thinking as it is about forming new ideas new forms of social interactions new ways to be inclusive new ways to discuss euality and distribute wealth and resources new ways to resist new prisons US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and mass incarceration new ways to reach children trying to recover from the educational survival complex new ways to show dark children they are loved in this world and new "ways to establish an education system that works for everyone especially those who are put at the edges of " to establish an education system that works for everyone especially those who are put at the edges of classroom and societyThe relevant and valuable information presented in this book is woven in with Love s personal narrative She does well to generalize when it s right and well to add in the not all but most when necessary which I appreciate I also simply "enjoyed reading about not only her experiences as a child from Rochester and the villagehomeplace "reading about not only her experiences as a child from Rochester and the villagehomeplace helped raised her but also the number of people she s met the different places she s taught and the vulnerability she voluntarily offered about neglecting her own survival mode complexThere i THIS BOOK Bringing the spirit and work of abolitionists to education Education in the pursuit of liberation YOU MUST READ This one goes in the Reuired Texts section of my Autumn 2019 syllabus Abolitionist Teaching is what Bettina Love says we need of in our schools and as a mother I couldn t agree with her analysis Racism is not exclusive to one political party or a particular type of White person White well meaning liberal teachers can be racist tooFrom that point Love lays out where it all went and continues to go wrong However she also offers a solution as to how we can make a difference as educators parents activists politicians etc in the lives of those who will one day be entrusted to rule the world It s clear we ve got a lot of work to do but much of it has to do with understanding the role we play in continuing the cycle No o See me after classWhile I m in no position to actually call the author in there were several times while I was reading where I wanted to highlight the paradoxes she seemed to be creating by collapsing rather than wrestling with the complexities of the interlocking theories she prescribes to abolitionists The book initially is very engaging but perhaps in an effort to cover ground an. Ivic initiatives and movements She argues that the US educational system is maintained by and profits from the suffering of children of color Instead of trying to repair a flawed system educational reformers offer survival tactics in the forms of test taking skills acronyms grit labs and character education which Love calls the educational survival complexTo dismantle the educational survival complex and to achieve educatio.