Black Scholarly Activism between the Academy and Grassroots: A Bridge for Identities and Social Justice

Academic Lead: Dr Ornette D Clennon

Linked to Research: Making Education a Priority (MEaP)

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What is whiteness?

In tracing the development of my black scholarly activism and its impact on my grassroots fight for social justice, I meditate on the ‘invisible’ impact whiteness has on the lived ‘black’ experience in the UK. Using Education as a philosophical and ethical framework, I interrogate Kehinde Andrews’ vision of Black Radicalism and explore its potential applicability to grassroots activism. By applying an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that dialogues with a version of historical sociology, as advocated by Gurminder Bhambra, namely, “connected histories”, Freirean critical pedagogy and a critique of Cedric J Robinson’s concept of Racial Capitalism, I also reconcile my previous writings about ‘blackness’ by crystallising the links between commercial (urban) blackness, the pathological structures of whiteness and institutional control. I also find inspiration from Robbie Shilliam’s exploration of cosmologically related ‘hinterlands’ as an antidote to the atomising nature of colonial (Eurocentric) epistemologies and as such, use a series of polemical writings written for my community partners, to act as gateways to a hinterland of theoretical discussion about the material effects of whiteness felt on the ground.

Publishers: Palgrave Macmillan.

The book is insightful and provides a different scope on racialized discourse from a praxis perspective and its appeal to community workers provides an inclusive attempt to engage audiences outside of academia. The book also offers a very interesting point of departure particularly regarding the exploration of Community resistance in a neoliberal post-truth era. The situating of this chapter within a post-truth context and why activism is needed to disrupt this is powerful – Dr Jason Arday – University of Roehampton, UK

This is a timely and important book that expertly combines personal narrative with nuanced theoretical analysis. Black Scholarly Activism between the Academy and Grassroots is a deeply engaging work that urges the reader to consider the possibilities and challenges facing academics who work towards social justice. Once picked up, this is a difficult book to put down: a must read – Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury, Leeds Beckett University, UK

I would really like to hear your views on the central themes presented in this volume.

Let’s start a discussion….

Please comment below!

Back to Research Discussion Forum, here.

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