"We Dare Say Love": Supporting Achievement in the Educational Life of Black Boys

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Na'ilah Suad Nasir, Jarvis R. Givens, Christopher P. Chatmon
Teachers College Press, Dec 28, 2018 - Education - 148 pages

"We Dare Say Love" takes up the critically important issue of what it means to educate Black male students in a large urban district. It chronicles the development and implementation of the African American Male Achievement Initiative in Oakland Unified School District, following a small group of Black male educators who changed district policy and practice to create a learning experience for Black boys rooted in love. The book takes readers inside the classrooms and inside the heads and hearts of program founders, leaders, and instructors to understand their pedagogy of care. It also elucidates the rituals, beliefs, and practices that created a classroom environment that held high expectations for the engagement and achievement of Black boys and provided a space for Black male students to blossom.

Book Features:

  • A model of a successful initiative that confronted the very real issues of racism that exist within schools.
  • A curriculum that builds on the cultural history of African Americans, with a focus on family and community relationships.
  • Chapters that provide the research evidence and also speak from the perspective of the educators themselves.
  • Reflection chapters by leading experts on Black male achievement, including Tyrone Howard and Pedro Noguera.
  • Guidance for teachers, administrators, and district leaders wishing to improve education for Black male students.


We Dare Say Love
The Roots and Routes of Oaklands African American Male Achievement Initiative AAMA
Love Works
The Khepera Curriculum and the Transformative Educator
What It Means to Do This Work
My AAMA Journey
It Makes Me Feel Like Im a Monster
The Heart of the Matter
Ties That Bind
A View from the Inside
But We Are Not All the Same
Lessons from the Town
About the Contributors

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