Popular Visual Images and the (Mis)Reading of Black Male Youth: a case for racial literacy in urban preservice teacher education

Sealey-Ruiz, Yolanda; Greene, Perry

In the majority of public schools across the nation, Black male youth are undergoing what can be deemed as “educational genocide” – the killing off of any chances for an equitable education. This dramatically decreases opportunities for Black male youth to develop into fully participating citizens in a democratic society. In many ways, race is the silent killer because it is frequently masked. Preservice teachers often take their cue for how to treat Black male students from existing stereotypes about Black males and media representations of them. In this article, we argue for the development of racial literacy in preservice teacher education programs as a pedagogical method to mitigate the misreading of Black male students in teacher candidates’ fieldwork experiences and subsequently in their future classrooms. Our argument operates from the premise that in a time when diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion are more widely recognized than ever before, the notion of race, and popular education films that depict race, still influence how teacher candidates view Black male students, and race remains a predictor for how these students experience school.
Keywords: racial literacy; urban youth; race and education; urban teacher education; Black youth; teacher education and film


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English Education
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August 29, 2018