Culture, Power, and Education: The Philosophies and Pedagogy of African Centered Educators

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The low academic performance of African American children has become a staple of the American educational system. At this point, conversations about Black children and failure are merely good ‘coffee talk’ for many. Afrocentric (Africentric / African centered) education is the only culturally centered comprehensive approach to addressing problems of miseducation, but there are complications: often African centered efforts are given short shrift in school systems, ignored in educational research, and most interestingly those asked to discuss or lead Afro-centric efforts are often opponents of the theories. While all of the aforementioned complications still exist, a band of African centered teachers continue to make a difference for students. This article focuses on the philosophies and pedagogies of three African centered teachers who are well-known for their impact on African American students. Descriptive vignettes are used to provide thick, rich descriptions of these African centered teachers.

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