Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Woman: Centering Examinations of Race, Power, and Privilege in Teacher Education Programs in the Wake of 45

Crystal V Shelby-Caffey


As a female faculty member of color whose work is framed by a social justice orientation, recently documented cases of injustice have provided a multitude of opportunities to engage pre-service and in-service teachers in reflexive thinking centered on issues of access, equity, and social justice. In attempting to undertake a critical stance, there is value in embracing what Freire (2000) describes as “conscientization” or critical consciousness; acts which directly challenge marginalized thinking. In this time of post-truth politics, there is an even greater moral imperative to explore the covert and overt subversions being used to normalize the undermining of particular BIPOC instructors whose work pushes students to confront issues of race, racism, marginalization and privilege. Personal narratives and testimonios are used to discuss the impact of incendiary comments and actions on an African American professor using a social justice framework to teach courses within and educator preparation program at a predominantly White institution. The onus continues to be placed on educators to create classroom spaces where dialogue occurs that interrogates traditional notions of what it truly means to make America great for all of its citizens.


Teacher Education, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies, Personal Narratives, Testimonios, Trump Presidency, Preservice Teachers

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