Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools

Dartmouth Events

Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools

Freeden Blume Oeur Associate Professor of Sociology Tufts University

Monday, January 14, 2019
Carson L01
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

All-male public academies have been lauded as a school reform effort capable of building resilient Black boys. My new book, Black Boys Apart, an ethnographic study of two all-boys public schools, offers an alternative view. Not so much a school reform effort, these academies join a legacy of institutions seeking to reform Black male character during periods of stark racial inequality. To demonstrate this, my presentation situates these reform efforts in two overlapping contexts. The first is the merger of neoliberal ideologies and a respectability politics that grooms and elevates exceptional Black boys, but in a manner that derides their more at-risk peers and therefore aggravates class tensions within Black communities. The second is the precarious relationship between Black Nationalism—which defends Black academies as a matter of Black self-determination in schooling—and Black feminism—which challenges the granting of gender privilege to Black boys in the path towards racial uplift. Moving beyond endorsements of schools that cultivate individual resilience in young Black men, Black Boys Apart carves a path forward that is both feminist and anti-racist and promotes collective resilience in the form of a caring democracy.

For more information, contact:
Laura Mitchell

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.