Join the Harvard Graduate School of Education for a conversation between author Jarvis Givens, Assistant Professor at HGSE and the Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute, and Joshua Bennett, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.
Black education was a subversive act from its inception. African Americans pursued education through clandestine means, often in defiance of law and custom, even under threat of violence. They developed what Jarvis Givens calls a tradition of “fugitive pedagogy”—a theory and practice of Black education in America. The enslaved learned to read in spite of widespread prohibitions; newly emancipated people braved the dangers of integrating all-White schools and the hardships of building Black schools. Teachers developed covert instructional strategies, creative responses to the persistence of White opposition. From slavery through the Jim Crow era, Black people passed down this educational heritage.