15 Questions I Want to Ask Dr. Bettina Love about Abolitionist Teaching

Yo. I just finished the book, We Want to Do More Than Survive and I feel vindicated, celebrated. It was the best book to open up this summer and I have more questions than I started with. Here’s 15 and I hope I get to ask them to her sometime!This treasure was featured on my list of 24 Anti-Racist Books for Educators.

This book was off the hook. A twitter homie Nadine Sanchez wrote a book review, a few months ago, but there’s too much to talk about so I had to write another review. (Might be more coming)

You know, when so many folks tell me I need to read something, it must be good. Thanks to Kevin, Marna, Trevor, and Erin for recommending Dr. Love’s amazing book.

I brought it on a trip to Costa Rica, and my wife was like, “Babe, you are not about to read that.” Boom. Yes I did. Couldn’t put it down really. Took me bout a week to finish it, between posting hella screen shots and reflections on Twitter:


People of Color Write About Racism Too

IBPOC write about racism because they experience it and have been talking about it at least since 1492. Whew. You should read this book if you wanna hear an actual person of color talk about how racism affects actual people of color. Shocking I know. They do exist. White folks are gettin hella money, fame, and recognition for talking about race. But this is a Black Lesbian woman talking about how we get free, from a black feminist, and queer theory perspective. Let’s go!

The power of reading the writing of IBPOC is so empowering and healing for me. It’s as if someone far more eloquent and well read was speaking for me. We al have our own individual experiences, however it’s like hearing another voice inside my mind. A voice that has been silenced, subjugate, second guessed, assimilated, repressed and suppressed. To see it expressed and released is beautiful. It makes me want to write. It reminds me of the power of all of our stories. Better than novels, it’s my true escape. I love it.

What you can Expect in Love’s Book

  • A brief history of racial hierarchy in America
  • Provocative questions, a harsh critique of TFA, Charter Schools, SEL, NCLB, and the white power structure
  • A summary of critical theories and frameworks we need to apply to education
  • Stories of how Bettina Love moved from being oppressed to surviving to thriving
  • Examples of anti-racist teachers, organizations, and programs around the US
  • Connections between white supremacy, white fragility, white rage, and white privilege
  • Hear about the need for healing in our work to continue fighting for freedom
  • A breakdown of Abolitionist Teaching
  • Hella dope references, quotes, and connections to other great writing

I was blown away.

15 questions I wanna ask Dr. Bettina Love

  1. How would you define Abolitionist Teaching in one sentence? One word synonym?
  2. Was the process of writing this book healing for you? How might we expand this process for so many more of us?
  3. Where do you go for inspiration? When do you freedom dream?
  4. How do we create more spaces of healing for dark folx?
  5. Are anti-racist trainings only for white folx? What about us?
  6. If you were to propose a scope and sequence of various theories, where would you start?
  7. What spirit murdering have you heard about as you have traveled the globe telling your message?
  8. How would you approach teaching differently now, if you were just starting?
  9. If you could blow up the system how would you redesign it?
  10. What does Culturally Responsive Leadership or Abolitionist Leadership look like?
  11. What is the most empowering curricula that you’ve seen?
  12. How much time should schools be dedicating to racial equity work?
  13. What pedagogical moves that are spirit murdering dark children?
  14. How does it feel to see your words resonate with so many people? Why do you think it’s hitting so hard?
  15. What’s next for Dr. Bettina Love?

Final Thoughts

I am hoping I am able to interview Dr. Bettina Love and ask her a few of these questions. Stay locked in to see if it happens.

If you are looking for a book to give you a jolt, get you juiced, and excited for the new year, look no further. Dr. Love’s book is deeply personal and provocative. For IBPOC and true co-conspirators, it is healing and a sign that we are on the right path. Let’s keep marching!

Twitter chat coming up on August 3rd. #edufreedom

Better get on that.

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