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ERIC Number: EJ864224
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 89
ISSN: ISSN-1361-3324
"We Have to Tell Our Story": Neo-Griots, Racial Resistance, and Schooling in the Other South
Buras, Kristen L.
Race, Ethnicity and Education, v12 n4 p427-453 Dec 2009
In cities across the United States, working-class communities of color find themselves struggling against inequities deepened by state disinvestment. Students at the Center--a writing initiative based in several public high schools in New Orleans over the last decade--has been a part of this struggle and embraces a pedagogy rooted in the voices, cultures, and histories of traditionally marginalized youth, their families, schools, and neighborhoods. Through collections of student writing and digital media, young neo-griots have produced counterstories that call into question dominant narratives about race, schooling, and neoliberal policy. This article draws upon student counterstories, teacher interviews, and classroom and community observations as the means for critically analyzing the implementation of racially-inspired neoliberal reforms, such as decentralization, charter schools, market-based educational choice, and targeted disinvestment in pubic infrastructure, in New Orleans--the experimental front for such policies in the United States. While more accelerated and extensive due to the vacuum created by displacement and destruction after Hurricane Katrina, the reforms are not wholly distinct from those elsewhere. Thus students' counterstories shed light on the "legitimacy" of such policies nationally and globally and reveal the necessity of building solidarities between the South within the North and the Global South. More immediately, students and teachers challenge the aspirations of neoliberal elites in New Orleans who seek to elide their history, close their school, and reinvent their neighborhood. (Contains 4 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; Plessy v Ferguson