Disrupting Anti-Black Logics in Education: Cultivating Critical Perspectives and Expansive Representations of Black Histories and Cultures in School Curriculum
Tashal Brown

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Rhode Island

Primary Discipline

Curriculum and Instruction
The pervasive influence of anti-blackness in US education leads to the neglect of Black histories and cultures, often portraying Blackness solely through a lens of trauma. This exclusionary approach harms Black students by denying their humanity, promoting deficit narratives, and distorting or outright prohibiting the teaching of Black history. The project addresses this issue by prioritizing critical examinations of anti-blackness and promoting comprehensive representations of Black experiences. In collaboration with Black educators at an urban middle and high school in Rhode Island, this study focuses on creating and implementing a curriculum grounded in Historically Responsive Literacy (HRL) and Black Historical Consciousness (BHC). These frameworks are designed to authentically engage with students' backgrounds, identities, and literacy practices, fostering a more inclusive understanding of Blackness. Key questions revolve around how students' social identities and school experiences influence their perspectives on Black histories and cultures and how Black students and other youth of color respond to a curriculum that challenges anti-Blackness. Drawing from critical race theory (CRT) and employing intersectional methodologies, the research aims to disrupt prevailing narratives and elevate the voices and experiences of Black students and other youth of color. By collecting and analyzing data through a CRT lens, the study seeks to inform interventions that cultivate educational environments where Black histories, cultures, and literacies are affirmed and valued. Ultimately, the goal is to contribute to educational equity by fostering liberatory learning spaces that honor the diversity and richness of Black histories and cultures.
About Tashal Brown
Brown, Tashal
Tashal Brown is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education and Secondary Social Studies at the University of Rhode Island. Her research broadly focuses on race, ethnicity, and gender as it concerns issues of equity and justice in educational contexts. She examines how cultivating and enacting critical literacies and liberatory pedagogies in K-12 schools, community-based spaces, and teacher education shapes youth and educators' perspectives, experiences, and actions. Her collaborations with youth, educators, and community-based organizations demonstrate an unwavering commitment to fostering critical and transformative educational spaces with an increased capacity for innovative teaching and opportunities for youth to engage critically and creatively. Notably, she seeks opportunities to work alongside youth to pursue inquiries that address sociopolitical issues impacting their lives. Brown earned her PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education from Michigan State University. Her research and scholarship has been supported by the King-Chávez-Parks (KCP) Future Faculty Fellowship and the Curriculum Inquiry Writing Fellowship. Her publications have appeared in journals such as the American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Curriculum Inquiry, and Girlhood Studies.

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