Feeling inspired by dope Black women doing their thing got me thinking about the work that we do in the classroom as educators. How do we motivate Black kids to create dangerously, to speak their truths, make their art, and to share their passions with the world?
A gifted, eccentric artist in a genre of art that was created as a form of resistance and revolution abandons everything his movement stood for in both artistic and personal acts of delusional self-grandeur and pro-fascist ideology.
That’s because Salvador Dali was the Kanye West of his day; an artist whose undeniable talent couldn’t be reconciled with his dangerous public antics, and whose actions sparked heated and complex conversations about the relationship between art and the artist, the power of celebrity and the gray lines between eccentricity and anti-social behavior in public life.
Unfortunately, since I’ve moved on to the post-WWI era, I had to shoehorn Kanye’s meltdown into a lesson about the differences between progressives and conservatives in regard to their ideas about the government’s responsibility those in need. In so doing, I challenged students to answer the question:
Is Kanye conservative?
In other words, fugitivity is refusing to comply with a system that assumes you are either deserving of inevitable subordination because of your very nature (pathologized), or else you are some intriguing exception to that inevitable logic of subordination. (I’m not sure at this point whether my ‘other words’ are helpful or not, but there they are…)
Being a mimetic model as a White person for other White people in this framework is a kind of restorative justice. You’re trying to give the other person the opportunity to fix themselves by showing them a new way.
I think there is something missing in how we address the constant, ever-present White violence we encounter in our world.
As Erin said, we aren’t talking race when we’re talking education and more over we’re not talking about the fact that children of enslaved ancestors need a different education than the children of the slave master.
I didn’t coin that phrase, I am borrowing from Brian and Lurie Favors but I feel that ish on a spiritual level.
I keep on reminding people that there is no such thing as neutrality in education.
Identifying, navigating and coping, or rather healing from racism is part of the knowledge, skills and dispositions that Black and Brown students need to prepare for college and careers in addition to mastering their content. As Chris Rock stated in his comedy special, Tambourine, schools need to have a White orientation and a Black orientation. I couldn’t agree with him more.