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Centering Blackness in Education

by Nadiyah Taylor
May/June 2021
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/centering-blackness-in-education/5025984/

Throughout my life, I have either consciously or unconsciously tried to de-center my Blackness so that the world would perceive me as “normal” and “palatable” and “likeable.” This does not mean that I am ashamed of being Black. I am not. However, in adaptation to a hostile, racialized environment I internalized a message that showcasing or highlighting my Blackness could be dangerous at most or unwelcome at least. The notion of Centering Blackness in my work as an early care and education professional is a reclaiming of the wholeness of myself and an acknowledgement that my Blackness is centered by society anyway. To power structures we are “other” and the distinctions don’t matter. My response has been to shrink to make others comfortable while I live in discomfort. Centering Blackness means that I claim what is rightfully mine, with joy and acceptance.

Recently, a colleague and I have shared thoughts on the concept of Centering Blackness. We come from two different professions, but share the same passion to support and include the lives of our students in our teaching. Our conversation focused on what Centering Blackness looks like for us in academia. Here are some of her powerful thoughts. 

“What do you ...

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