Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls

New Pr. Aug. 2019. 192p. notes. ISBN 9781620973998. $23.99. ED
Morris (cofounder, National Black Women’s Justice Inst.; Pushout) posits that many black and Latinx girls endure traumas including food insecurity, physical abuse, sexual exploitation, mental illness, and homelessness. Their responses are often seen as defiance rather than a form of critical thinking. Consequently, black and Latinx girls suffer higher rates of exclusionary punishment, which leads to incarceration, drug abuse, or sexual exploitation. Expanding on ideas outlined in her previous work, Morris offers specific examples of how schools can cultivate a climate of responsibility, accountability, and trust among students, teachers, and administrators. She demonstrates how police presence in schools doesn’t foster safety among students, and argues that restorative justice, not isolation from educational opportunities, improves students’ connections to the school community. Relying on volunteers committed to supporting the educational goals of the community and to easing trauma benefits both students and the community.
VERDICT Readers with an interest in students’ welfare will appreciate the author’s insight and suggestions for providing safe, inclusionary schools for all.

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