Citation

Freedom from Fear: Race Talk and Psychological Safety in Schools

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Abstract:

In social and political climate in which a presidential candidate can begin a successful campaign with racist remarks, it is imperative that we understand the ways in which teachers attempt (and fail) to discuss race and racism in their classrooms. One prerequisite for resolving the crisis in Black education is to equip teachers with the tools necessary to lead conversations about issues of race, racism, and racial inequality. In this paper, we discuss “race talk” as one such tool, and examine the radical possibilities of critical, humanizing conversations about race in secondary classrooms. Race talk refers to public exchanges that attempt to negotiate the varied meanings associated with the concept of race. First, we discuss the nature of race talk, particularly with adolescents, as a social taboo. We argue against the liberal viewpoint that students should be socialized into colorblind mindsets, as well as the viewpoint that race talk should be avoided due to the fear of appearing racist. Rather than silencing race talk to create superficially safe classroom spaces, we argue that principles from Black feminist theory and educational psychology encourage teachers to anticipate and embrace race talk as an important part of teacher-student relationships, and as key elements of psychologically safe classroom environments.
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Association:
Name: 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298228_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Duncan, Kristen. and Woodson, Ashley. "Freedom from Fear: Race Talk and Psychological Safety in Schools" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH, <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298228_index.html>

APA Citation:

Duncan, K. and Woodson, A. "Freedom from Fear: Race Talk and Psychological Safety in Schools" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298228_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: In social and political climate in which a presidential candidate can begin a successful campaign with racist remarks, it is imperative that we understand the ways in which teachers attempt (and fail) to discuss race and racism in their classrooms. One prerequisite for resolving the crisis in Black education is to equip teachers with the tools necessary to lead conversations about issues of race, racism, and racial inequality. In this paper, we discuss “race talk” as one such tool, and examine the radical possibilities of critical, humanizing conversations about race in secondary classrooms. Race talk refers to public exchanges that attempt to negotiate the varied meanings associated with the concept of race. First, we discuss the nature of race talk, particularly with adolescents, as a social taboo. We argue against the liberal viewpoint that students should be socialized into colorblind mindsets, as well as the viewpoint that race talk should be avoided due to the fear of appearing racist. Rather than silencing race talk to create superficially safe classroom spaces, we argue that principles from Black feminist theory and educational psychology encourage teachers to anticipate and embrace race talk as an important part of teacher-student relationships, and as key elements of psychologically safe classroom environments.


 
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