African American education, social foundation, social justice pedagogy, conflict theory, post modernism, school discipline reform

Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy


This article examines the historical and contemporary intersections of race in education. Specifically, this article explores the African American schooling experience in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. Although the Brown vs. Board of Education [1954] decision promised more racial cohesion in public schools, many African American students still experience widespread disparities (Kozol, 2005). With African American students receiving three times the number of suspensions or expulsions (Lewis, Butler, Bonner, & Joubert, 2010), it is imperative to explore the undeniable relationship between public schooling and the criminal justice system. To that end, it is important to consider ways that U.S. schools continuously underserve students and communities of color. This theoretical article highlights the criminalization of Black youth and draws parallels between public schooling and the criminal justice system. The results of this article are exigent for school and community reform.