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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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The Road Taken: A Tribute to a Brilliant Blue Collar Worker


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A Tribute to a Brilliant Blue Collar Worker

Ty-Ron M. O. Douglas

This poem was written after I observed that a front page newspaper story about a Black Bermudian male was printed on the same day his sibling’s funeral notice (Brother Blue Collar Worker or “BCW”) finally showed up on the back pages of the newspaper. This tribute is to Everyman, especially those who stories, dreams, and brilliance have been silenced by lonely tombstones and faded flowers; and to our master tradesmen who, as teenage boys, often had to surrender academic aspirations and childhood fun in order to become the primary “bread winners” for your mothers and funders of your siblings’ education … Thank you. May we hear your pain, accept our complicity, celebrate your wisdom, and commit to creating processes and systems that can heal and honor your legacies …

Sad commentary on the lives of two brothers—two black men,

One whose name has gone down in Bermudian infamy

And another who, like many others, was lowered into a grave in obscurity.

Both broken. Sad day today.

Brother Blue Collar acquired the Bermudian dream of a house but never made a home.

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