The demand for civil rights continues its grip on this country today. While the landmark decision of Brown vs. Board of Education desegregated schools, it single handedly exacerbated inequities regarding who determines what defines a quality education and for whom. What happens when we approach our past with a critical lens? What responsibility do we have to reconcile our history in order to move forward with integrity?
This dialogue will focus on the implications that Brown vs. Board of Education had on erasing Black teachers from the classroom and how this impacts the teacher of color pipeline today. Too often, the narrative around this issue rests at the “recruitment” level rather than a deep dive into the social, political and historical contexts.
Dr. Michèle Foster, professor at University of Kentucky and author of Black Teachers on Teaching, the seminal collection of Black teacher voices in regards to the impact of Brown vs. Board of Education, will set the national context regarding this issue within this historical framework. In addition, this discussion will include a Q&A session with current and former teachers regarding their experiences as contemporary tensions of this decision.
Join us as we probe into the costly ramifications of Brown vs. Board of Education on the teacher of color pipeline, on students, and on community. This event will be Thursday, January 24th, 5:30-7:30 pm in the Manual High School cafeteria and is FREE and open to the public.
Preparation Materials - Homework given to event attendees.
Resource List - DK created this list after the event with book suggestions, group information, articles and lists of podcasts.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Michèle Foster, author of the 1997 book, Black Teachers on Teaching, serves as the Henry Heuser Jr. Endowed Chair for Urban Education and Professor at the University of Louisville. Through her book, Dr. Foster broke new ground by gathering, in one volume, the voices of Black teachers by documenting their experiences when Brown vs. Board upended the educational system.
Dr. Foster grew up on the East Coast and has worked in education for many years at varying levels of the educational spectrum. Her research interests are the linguistic, historical and cultural contexts of African American education. One strand of her research focuses on improving the achievement of students, primarily students of color and improving the practice of their teachers. To this end, she created L-TAPL, Learning Through Teaching in After-School Pedagogical Laboratory. She was also one of the first academics to undertake studying the positive influence of African American teachers, a topic she stumbled into accidentally, but is delighted she did. Dr. Foster serves as mentor to many doctoral students of color, and junior faculty members helping them navigate and find success in the academy while maintaining their humanity, dignity, and positive self-concept.
Being multilingual, Dr. Foster speaks French and Haitian in addition to English. She enjoys cooking and is pretty good at it, domestic and international travel, and spinning and lifting weights which she has put aside recently and needs to get back into. Her family of origin's story goes back to her great-great grandfather a runaway bondsman who fled to New England is engrossing but beyond the scope of this introduction. You’ll have to talk to her to learn more about it.