The Editor’s Corner
Gloria Swindler Boutte, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Hakim M. Rashid, Ph.D.
Professor of Human Development and Psycho-Educational Studies
“It may be of no importance to the race to be able to boast today of many times as many ‘educated’ members as it had in 1865. If they are of the wrong kind, the increase in numbers will be a disadvantage rather than an advantage. The only question which concerns us here is whether these ‘educated’ persons are equipped to face the ordeal before them or unconsciously contribute to their own undoing by perpetuating the regime of the oppressor.”
Carter G. Woodson, 1933,
The Miseducation of the Negro, p. xi
This issue of the African American Learners Journal includes three articles with a common theme--culturally relevant and critical education for African American students and families. Each of the three pieces echoes the important theme captured in the quote by Carter G. Woodson as the authors deliberate on what education for African Americans should be.
The opening article by Jomo W.Mutegi and Crystal Hill Morton implore readers to consider what socially transformative science pedagogy looks like for African American males. It serves as an important and wonderful counternarrative to the narrow definitions of science content which are removed from the lives, realities, and welfare of Black males. Mutegi and Morton craftily expatiate on a culturally relevant, nature-based camp model and the academic and cultural benefits that extend beyond Eurocentric notions of science.
Toni Milton Williams, Kim Pemberton, and Cherrel Miller Dyce chime in by insightfully providing a culturally relevant community and parent involvement model. Like the other two pieces, the authors center issues of culture in their model and reject conventional deficit-based models.
Rounding off this issue, Donna Wright’s contribution on culture-based education outlines principles for creating supportive learning environments. Unapologetically and powerfully centering Black culture, she provides essential tenets and insights regarding the education of African American youth. Wright’s article introduces a few new cultural variables that have not widely been documented in the academic literature.
Together, the three articles should inspire readers to action. Centered in the optimistic faith in Black children, youth, families, and communities, these pieces are essential reading for all as we continue to liberate ourselves from oppressive thinking and practices as Carter G. Woodson wisely urged nearly eight decades ago. While we foresee that his words will remain relevant for a while longer, if we heed the advice found in these three articles, we will be well on our way to providing emancipatory education. Happy Reading!