Someone to Tell it To Podcast: Holding A Mirror Up to Ourselves

By James Barham, Academic Influence

Our list of influential Black educators is composed of leaders in the field who are paving the way for future educators. These scholars are doing groundbreaking work to remove educational disparities and increase awareness in areas such as Black feminism. Among this group of influencers are educators, writers, poets, activists, and politicians.

These 30 influential Black scholars hold positions of leadership in universities, primary and secondary education schools, and other learning institutions. As prominent scholars within academia, they bring about concrete change in educational practices through their researching, teaching, and publishing in areas such as:

  • educational theory and curriculum design,
  • pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students (see Gloria Ladson-Billings)
  • culturally relevant practices for teaching students of color,
  • anti-oppressive and anti-racist teaching practices, and
  • empowering students of color with the skills to transform the power structures of society (see Lisa Delpit)

Apart from pedagogy, one ongoing area of critical focus for many Black educators is increasing the number of Black students entering the field of education. With research showing the importance of educator role models within a child’s own community, The need has never been more pressing. Despite a Black population comprising 13.4% of the total U.S. population, only 7.3% of bachelor’s degrees conferred in the field of education were earned by Black students in 2019.

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