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Border Crossing «Brothas»

Black Males Navigating Race, Place, and Complex Space


Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas

Winner of the 2017 Society of Professors of Education Book Award

Winner of the 2017 American Educational Studies Association Critics' Choice Award

Border Crossing «Brothas» examines how Black males form identities, define success, and utilize community-based pedagogical spaces to cross literal and figurative borders. The tragic deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, and numerous others from Brooklyn, Britain, and Bermuda whose lives have been taken prematurely suggest that negotiating race, place, and complex space is a matter of life and death for Black males. In jurisdictions such as the U.S. and Bermuda, racial tensions are the palpable and obvious reality, yet the average citizen has no idea how to sensibly react. This book offers a reasonable response that pushes readers to account for and draw on the best of what we know, the core of who we are, and the needs and histories of those we serve.
Drawing on the educational and socializing experiences of Black males in Bermuda – a beautiful yet complex island with strong connections to the U.S., England, and the Caribbean – this book offers educators and leaders new language for postcolonial possibilities and emancipatory epistemologies related to Black male identities and success in a global context. Intriguing findings and fresh frameworks grounded in understandings of race, class, ability, transnationalism, culture, colonialism, and the construction/performance of gendered identity emerge in this book.

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I have been blessed with a supportive community of mentors, colleagues, and scholars who have contributed to my professional and academic journey. I would like to acknowledge my grade 2 teacher at Paget Primary, Mrs. Rochelle Furbert Bean, who assured me that I was “likeable and capable,” and encouraged my love of words by tolerating my declaration—as a precocious 7 year old—that she was “being facetious.” I am also grateful to the other formal and informal educators in the various schoolhouses and community-based pedagogical spaces in which I was nurtured: “I am because we are.” I am particularly grateful for the educators, colleagues, mentors, and friends at Bermuda College, Oakwood University, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) who helped me foster a love of learning. In particular, I am grateful for Dr. Camille M. Wilson, whose sage counsel, professionalism, and friendship helped create a foundation for me to emerge and blossom as a scholar. Dr. Tyrone C. Howard is more than the contributor of the Foreword to this book—he is an admirable Black male leader who has modeled for me what I hope to be as a mentor to the next generation of scholars. At UNCG, the University of Missouri, and the many organizations with which I am associated, I have encountered numerous colleagues and students who have stretched me as a theoretician, inspired me as a thinker, and embraced me as a friend. Thank you...

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