Publication Date: December 28, 2018
Series: Multicultural Education Series
"We Dare Say Love" takes up the critically important issue of what it means to educate Black male students in a large urban district. It chronicles the development and implementation of the African American Male Achievement Initiative in Oakland Unified School District, following a small group of Black male educators who changed district policy and practice to create a learning experience for Black boys rooted in love. The book takes readers inside the classrooms and inside the heads and hearts of program founders, leaders, and instructors to understand their pedagogy of care. It also elucidates the rituals, beliefs, and practices that created a classroom environment that held high expectations for the engagement and achievement of Black boys and that provided a space for Black male students to blossom.
Na’ilah Suad Nasir is the president of the Spencer Foundation and is a faculty member (on leave) at the University of California, Berkeley. Jarvis R. Givens is an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Christopher P. Chatmon serves as deputy chief of equity for the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and was named as a "Leader to Learn From" by Education Week magazine.
"This book offers an anti-deficit, anti-essentialist perspective of Black males’ performance in schools and gives nuance to the stark realities that young men face—some thriving, some struggling, some making progress, others seeking a place to be recognized for their full human potential."
— from the afterword by Tyrone C. Howard, professor of education, UCLA
“We Dare Say Love represents a powerful model of a school-district–wide initiative to support the healthy development of Black males. The chapters capture the multiple dimensions of collaborations and partnerships required for such systemic change, one of which is a fundamental wrestling with the metanarratives in the United States and elsewhere around the Black body and in particular the Black male. Love itself is unrelenting in its commitment to sustainability, is adaptive to the needs of those we love, and is sustained over time. We see that in how parents embody the love for their children. The initiative documented in this commanding volume serves as an exemplar of possibilities. We can all learn revealing lessons of struggle and victory from the chapters of this volume.”
—Carol D. Lee, Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University