During my graduate school career, I enrolled in a Critical Race Theory in Education course. While I had taken other classes that addressed aspects of race and other social identities from critical perspectives, this was the first that was entirely devoted to a single specialized framework. Yes, there were other relevant theories and concepts that we accounted for in the seminar, but Critical Race Theory (CRT) remained central. The readings that I was exposed to not only influenced my epistemologies but also played an instrumental role in my development as a critical scholar. Learning about the history, legal relevance, founders, and core tenets, among other things, only reaffirmed my desire to continue immersing myself in a body of scholarship that has become an important part of my scholarly identity.
When presented with the opportunity to teach a Critical Race Theory class at Indiana University, I was delighted. Given the influence CRT has had in my educational journey, it was only right and fitting that I help guide my students through a challenging but overall, fulfilling course. Living in a time when CRT, and related concepts (e.g., diversity, equity, inclusion, justice), have been under attack, especially under the previous administration (Donald J. Trump), it is important that we, educators, work to counter the baseless and misconstrued attacks.
In some ways, this reader is precisely a way of countering majoritarian stories and misconceptions of CRT during a tumultuous sociopolitical era. This reader highlights important work conducted by graduate students in my Spring 2023 Critical Race Theory in Education course. In particular, students were asked to individually identify an open access (OA) article of their choosing that reflected their interests and passions. In doing so, the articles had to either employ CRT as a conceptual or theoretical framework, or address related concepts (e.g., whiteness as property) that we covered throughout our semester. After selecting their articles, students wrote short reviews based on the chosen OA articles.
Overall, this reader is divided into seven parts, each authored by a different student. It is important to note that each part begins with the original open access article chosen by students (not authored by them). Next, is the student’s review of the text, which begins with a brief discussion of why each OA article was chosen. Reviews conclude with relevant questions for the audience as well as recommended texts for those that want to learn more about the given topics. This format is followed across each of the seven parts. The volume begins with articles situated in a K-12 context including the topics of school closings and teachers of color, followed by articles within the higher education sector. Within higher education, the focus spans across methodological, conceptual, student, and faculty topics. In working toward the final versions of their reviews, students provided one another with feedback. I too shared feedback with each of them.
I hope that you will enjoy reading these reviews.