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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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Chapter 6: Black Bermudian Males and Community-Based Pedagogical Spaces


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To gain a greater understanding of how Black Bermudian males have personally experienced education in learning spaces outside schools, I draw on descriptions of their experiences and experimentation as active participants in various community-based pedagogical spaces. As a Black Bermudian male who has also been influenced by community-based pedagogical spaces, I was impacted by the life journeys of the participants and inspired by their wisdom and insights. The results of the study reveal that nonschool educative venues are impactful centers of learning, socialization, and support, as indicated by the first five participants profiled in chapter 4. Findings from the data also suggest that some of these community-based spaces may in fact have had a more substantial impact on the subjects’ lives than schools have. To further illustrate how my participants discussed these spaces, I provide brief portrayals of the participants’ educational experiences and experimentations—in school and out.

While chapter 5 highlighted the influence of expectations on the identities that Black Bermudian males form, the data in this chapter suggest that Black Bermudian males also form identities through experiences in community spaces and positive and/or negative experimentation within those spaces. Below, we meet Kofi, who offers a colorful array of experiences as a result of his unsupervised experimentation in the neighborhood and sports club. In addition, ← 83 | 84 → I introduce three other participants, Shaka, Allan, and Devon, who were all also greatly influenced...

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