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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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In Gloria Anzaldúa’s (1987) important work on the “Borderlands,” she offers what she calls an “autohistoria” which she refers to as a genre of mixed media, comprised of personal narrative, testimonio, factual accounts, cuento, and poetry—that repudiates equilibrium just as the Borderlands from which Anzaldúa comes. According to Anzaldúa, the Border is an alterative space or a “third country” whose history has been told primarily through an Anglocentric lens, which she attempts to disrupt through a feminist analysis. It is in this prism that Anzaldúa challenges readers to understand the importance of a particular type of consciousness that can be culturally, politically and socially liberating. According to Anzaldúa this consciousness entails a “shift out of habitual formations: form convergent thinking, analytical reasoning that tends to use rationality to move toward a single goal … characterized by movement away from set patterns and goals toward a more whole perspective, one that includes rather than excludes” (p. 101).

It is against this backdrop in search of a greater consciousness that we see Ty-Ron Douglas heeding Anzaldúa’s call for crossing borders, interrogating space, place, and race and seeking the creation of a new narrative; but this time for one of the more marginalized populations globally—Black men. This timely work offers its readers a new narrative as told by those who have been historically on the margins socially, economically, politically and educationally. ← xiii | xiv → Douglas offers a...

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