While there is a proliferation of research on white educators who teach courses around anti-racism, White Educators Negotiating Complicity: Roadblocks Paved with Good Intentions focuses on white educators who teach about whiteness to racially diverse groups of students, and who acknowledge and attempt to negotiate their complicity in systemic injustice. Scholars continue to remind white people of the paradox through which their endeavors to disrupt systemic white supremacy often reproduce it. In this book, Barbara Applebaum explores what it means to teach against whiteness while living that paradox.
Rather than an empirical study, this book offers insights from recent scholarship surrounding critical whiteness and epistemic injustice and applies them to some of the most trenchant challenges that white educators face while trying to teach about whiteness to racially diverse groups of students. Introducing the concept of a vigilantly vulnerable and informed humility, Applebaum both illuminates what theory can tell us about praxis and offers guidance for white educators in their attempts to negotiate the effects of white complicity on their pedagogy.
Barbara Applebaum is professor in the Department of Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University.
Chapter 1: White Complicity
Chapter 2: The Entangled Armor of White Complicity: Innocence and Ignorance
Chapter 3: Towards a Vigilantly Vulnerable Informed Humility
Chapter 4: When White Educators are Part of the Problem
Chapter 5: Cultivating a Vigilantly Vulnerable Informed Humility
About the Author
“Classrooms are contested terrains where knowledge and ignorance circulate with equal vigor. White complicity cannot be engaged critically without careful attention to the active ignorance that sustains it. Barbara Applebaum’s White Educators Negotiating Complicity offers a refreshing reorientation to questions of white complicity at a time when critical race theory has been weaponized to stoke culture wars in educational settings. Most scholarly explorations of the topic focus on the discursive habits white students employ to dodge questions of white complicity. Applebaum, however, engages the recent feminist scholarship on epistemic injustice to explore a thornier dilemma: How do white educators who teach about whiteness to racially diverse groups of students negotiate complicity in the systems of domination we seek to disrupt? How does white complicity shape our pedagogy? Applebaum's long-awaited book engages these questions with her characteristic clarity, gifting readers with an indispensable conceptual toolkit for naming and engaging the connections between white complicity and pedagogy.”
“In this theoretically sophisticated yet engaging book, Barbara Applebaum explores the complicity of white educators in upholding white power, privilege, and supremacy in the classroom, even while they work with good intentions to disrupt these systems and structures. Arguing for the importance of vigilantly vulnerable and informed humility, she offers essential resources for white teachers and students to work in coalition with their racially diverse peers in dismantling unjust racial systems. This is a must-read book for white teachers who aim both to disrupt white students’ willful ignorance around race and to ensure that students of color thrive in predominantly white institutions.”