Reading: Black Girls From The Hood Are The Real Trendsetters
(One of the things that came up on our zoom call is how centering Blackademics in your courses/coursework can be an active way to decolonize education, dispell steriotypes, and properly cite Black creatives from the margins who are often left unnaed when we talk about culture in institutional spaces. Find ways to center the creatives who live in/are from the neighborhoods you/your students know and love to show that there is knowledge, innovation, and culture in our communities, no matter where you come from.
I want to thank each of you for coming to this workshop and active (online) discussion about ‘Blackademics’, aka using digital pedagogy to open notions of the classroom and find ways to center learning from every day Black experiences and Black cultural production. This is important work to me because it coincides with the work to be seen and valued in educational spaces while staying true to how you create and produce knowledge and also how that cannot always be separated from the communities we come from and are inspired by. More broadly, using Black popular culture and thinking about representation in nuance ways and engaging with media and art making by diverse folks helps us to expand notions of the classroom! This journey is one that looks different for all of us but we can all learn something from each other so I am glad to share a little bit of what I have learned along the way of being unapologetically me, but also working in higher education.
I hope that you were able to pick up some inspiration from all the content and find something that you can essentially “take home” to the spaces that you’re running, whether that your classrooms, research, or just de-colonizing your reading practice. Aka rejecting established notions of “professionalism”, “perfection”, and “scholarship” because a lot of how we define these things is rooted in white supremacy—and cycles of making all the diverse students and faculty [whom we love to celebrate] feel invisible or less valuable than some.
Use all that we talked about to continue to create experiences with that engage your creative work and engage directly with digital tools like film, voice and sound making, and digital syllabuses (see links) to shake things up in your departments! Learn from Black/queer folks who are producing knowledge in your communities. Center local media makers. Start a #Blackademic library to show representation in knowledge creators! These are small things you can do to create some major world shifts and do more with the privileges we have as educators. Listen to your students and learn from their everyday experiences and the ways they create joy. Black joy is resistance!
More tips! Additional Resources to utilize:
*Position anti-racism text in your courses.
*The Black Panthar syllabus,
*The Lemonade syllabus,
*A Seat at the Table syllabus
*find "messy ways" to make digital art using course-based material that promotes sharing, open access, and collaboration. Creative digital journals and other creative/digital spaces that pair with course readings. See our milanote below:
*Seek out local/Black artist and media-makers that helps center a multiplicity of Black experiences that break through monolithic tropes in tech and media to show students the importance of representation (aka diversity from a perspective of Black/poc/queer scholars).
*Infuse film projects/and documentaries as part of "course readings".
Take care! -Dr. Chaz