Communities of Activism

Black women, higher education and the politics of representation

Paperback / softback, 186 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
15 Jul 2020
Trentham Books

Price: £20.00

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How can black women academics improve the lives of young people in their community? Etienne and her colleagues explore the ways they can intervene in two persistent and severe problems - the escalating knife crime that costs ever more young lives, and the disproportionately low academic attainment of black students compared with their white peers.

Studies of students in the African diaspora and in South Africa cast light on the effects on UK schools, universities and society of Whiteness, discrimination and the colonial curriculum. The authors cast their net wide to indicate how women's activism across generations can support black youth to resist the pressure of racism.

A must-read for all those concerned with social justice.

  • Jan Etienne

    Dr Jan Etienne is Associate Lecturer in Social Policy and Education at Birkbeck, University of London.

INTRODUCTION: 1. Education for survival: Black lives and black women’s activism, by Jan Etienne; PART ONE: ACTIVISM INSIDE THE ACADEMY: 2. Black women in higher education: Politics of representation and community activism in the African diaspora, by Patricia Daley; 3. Aspiration, Exclusion and Achievement: Reflections on black educational inequalities in the UK, by Patricia Gilbert; 4. ‘Hello Trouble’: Black women academics and the struggle for change, by Cecile Wright; PART TWO: INTERGENERATIONAL VOICES - BLACK WOMEN RESPOND TO CRISIS AND BLACK YOUTH: 5. Black youth, loss of trust and the crisis of knife crime: Pursuing a Womanist strategy, by Palmela Witter; 6. Drill Music, Violence and Criminalization: Gendered [platforms] for resistance, by Jan Etienne and Ezimma Chigbo; 7. Pain, anger and youth resistance: Police racial awareness training and the contemplations of a black mother, by Lurraine Jones; 8. Educating Ryan: Black youth surviving a British Education system, by Jan Etienne and Dawn Joseph; PART THREE: BLACK WOMEN IN HIGHER EDUCATION, SUPPORTING AND COLLABORATING INTERNATIONALLY FOR CHANGE: 9. And they didn’t die: Black women and the silencing of activist voices, by Nombuso Mathibela; 10. Whiteness in denial: Promoting culturally specific conversations in higher education, by Jan Etienne, Jen Davis and Fyna Dowe; 11. Supporting black sisters in higher education: A question of Activism, by Uvanney Maylor; CONCLUSION: 12. Beyond Brexit: Black women in higher education, collaborating internationally for change, by Jan Etienne; Index

'An important and much needed book that brings together activists, practitioners and academics across generations to rethink education for social change. Essentially, this is a book about radical care and how Black women are repairers of the breach.'

Akwugo Emejulu, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick

'At times like these, we need to hear from powerful collective voices who are doing the research and reflection on structural racism in British society, and articulating that analysis in a new way. Using her own womanist perspective, which foregrounds community and solidarity, Jan Etienne has marshalled the inspiring work of Black women from across higher education.'

Beverley Bryan, Former Director, School of Education, and Professor of Language Education, University of the West Indies, Mona; co-author of 'Heart of the Race'.

'In this book Black womanist/feminist academics show us the continuing need for activist antiracist struggles. They highlight possible futures through confronting anti-Black racism and white supremacy's deleterious impact on Black British individuals and communities.'

Shirley Anne Tate, Professor of Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada and Honorary Professor, CriSHET, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa