Empowering Black Mathematics Students Through a Framework of Communalism and Collective Black Identity
Keywords:Black/African American, Black political thought in education, communalism, culture, mathematics education, race
In this paper, we speak to the ways that Black people have consistently strategized and advocated for rights and the education of their children through communal efforts related to a collective Black identity. We use a framework of Black X Consciousness and ontological Blackness to nuance the ways that Blackness is internalized and taken up by members of this group and assert that although Blackness is a unifying factor, diversity in ideologies and goals exist. The ways that Black people have historically worked through these issues in hopes of achieving better education for their children is especially highlighted, along with the ways that these communal ideals may be utilized as forms of capital for Black children learning mathematics. Given this understanding, we also assert that what is generally culturally relevant for the collective may not be as prominent or relevant among various Black identities. In addressing the question of how to cultivate a mathematics education that is culturally relevant for Black children in particular, we discuss how our predecessors taught us that communal ontologies are instrumental in a) shaping the curriculum of a mathematics education worthy of Black children and b) shaping the facilitation of teaching and learning to which Black children are exposed.
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