Teaching Black Lives in College When Black Lives Didn’t Matter that Much K through 12

How to Cite

Trembath, S. (2020). Teaching Black Lives in College When Black Lives Didn’t Matter that Much K through 12. Radical Teacher, 116, 18–25. https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2020.663


This article explores complexities in teaching Black-authored material (especially Hip Hop lyricism) in premominantly non-Black college composition courses. It uses Barbara Smith's (1978) "Toward a Black Feminist Criticism" as a lens through which to define and examine those complexities. It offers antiracist pedogogal practices and posits withdrawal for reflection and self-care as a viable choice.



Bambara, Toni Cade. Interview with Claudia Tate (ed.), in Black Women Writers at Work, New York: Continuum, 1986.

Bey, Yasiin (Mos Def). “Rock and Rolle” from Black on Both Sides in Genius (genius.com) Accessed March 31, 2019.

Brand Nubian, “Meaning of the 5%” from In God We Trust on Genius (genius.com) accessed March 31, 2019.

Marable, Manning. How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society, Chicago: Haymarket, 1983.

Smith, Barbara. “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism,” The Radical Teacher 7 (March, 1978), 20-27.

Trembath, Sarah J. “De-Fusing the Cultural Bomb and Digging in the Hole the Explosion Left in our Slave History” in This Past Was Waiting for Me (Sankofa Love Project, 2019), 5-96.

Willis, W. Bruce. The Adinkra Dictionary: A visual Primer on the Language of Adinkra, The Pyramid Complex, Washington, DC: 1998.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Sarah Trembath