Jamila Lyiscott, "Black Appetite. White Food. Issues of Race, Voice, and Justice Within and Beyond the Classroom" (Routledge, 2019)


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One year to the day after George Flloyd’s murder, Dr. Jamila Lyiscott discusses her book on racial justice in education: Black Appetite. White Food. Issues of Race, Voice, and Justice Within and Beyond the Classroom (Routledge, 2019) A community-engaged scholar-activist, nationally renowned speaker and spoken word artist, Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and founding co-director of its new Center for Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research, Lyiscott—who may also invite you to call her Dr. J, if you’re cool—offers educators support for thinking and acting on issues of race, language, and the colonial logics that maintain white supremacy at the expense of Black wholeness through the lens of what she calls “Vision-Driven Justice.”

Personal stories, scholarly citations, original poetry, choice excerpts of literature, and theoretical as well as applied analyses are written in the author’s flow of American Standard English, American Black English, and Carribbean Creolized English to manifest Black Appetite. White Food. The result is a material yet breathing example of what Lyiscott (and others) call fugitive literacies: a book that evades replicating multiple facets of the white supremacy enmeshed in education systems and products. The book invites readers to reflect thoroughly and continuously, but also expects us to move beyond those realms and into action. As Lyiscott writes, “The authority to author new, more equitable social realities belongs to each of us.”

Christina Bosch is an assistant professor of special education at California State University at Fresno.

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