2019 Winner of the Michael Harrington Book Award
Presented annually by the American Political Science Association’s New Political Science Caucus for “an outstanding book that demonstrates how scholarship can be used in the struggle for a better world.”
In a Classroom of Their Own: The Intersection of Race and Feminist Politics in All-Black Male Schools (Order Here) details the theoretical, political, and policy implications of how I approach intersectionality. The book’s point of departure is all-black male schools (ABMSs) which have been praised by an assortment of strange bedfellows, including the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The fact that these proponents foreground black boys’ underachievement in the nation’s unequal schools also sheds important light on the merits of experience- based politics. Plainly put, this kind of politics often reflects a dialectical reality in which appeals to “experience” arise from patriarchal assumptions and foster anti-racist demands.
My analysis not only exposes the limitations of intersectionality and experience-based politics. It also uses the discourse in favor of ABMSs to discern how educationally disadvantaged black people can build coalitions that challenge patriarchy and racism.
Such coalitions are possible when blacks critically assess each other’s experiential claims. They are also possible when black people assume that good public schools foster black self-determination and prepare black children, of all genders, to evaluate what life in a democratic polity looks like.