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Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education

Resistance, Reclaiming, Organizing, and Black Lives Matter in Education

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Edited By Anthony J. Nocella and Erik Juergensmeyer

Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education is a cutting-edge investigation of the alarming state of education today. This practical how-to handbook gives readers tactics and strategies to organize and challenge forces that threaten liberatory critical education. Drawn from scholars and activists from across the world, the fifteen chapters guide readers through a strategic method of understanding the academic industrial complex and corporate education in the twenty-first century. Education is being hijacked by banks and corporations that are tearing apart the foundational fabric of academic freedom, resulting in mass standardized education and debt for all students and furthering racial inequity. This is a must-read for anyone interested in democracy, education, social justice, critical pedagogy, and Black Lives Matter.

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15. Black Student Unions and Identity: Navigating Oppression in Higher Education (Z. B. Hurst)

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CHAPTER  FIFTEEN

Black Student Unions and Identity: Navigating Oppression in Higher Education

Z. B. HURST

 

INTRODUCTION

The Black Students Union (BSU) at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, whose reformation was official after lots of paperwork and an encouraging Diversity Center Executive Director gave a gentle push, gasps its first rattling breaths. By no means is our room packed every Thursday evening, but those who are there expel some strange demons—loosening some sly and barelythere fingers from around their throats. We have a group message on Facebook for emergencies, and our emergencies happen every eight hours. VonDerrit Myers Jr. is killed with a sandwich in his hand while wearing a Global Positioning System anklet and no charges are filed against the officer who thought he was holding a gun (Byers, 2015). We have run out of things to satirize; we are out of outlandish impossibilities. We discuss our goals: what will we do with the atrocities we inherit? Who do we ask to exact justice when justice is the one who errs? Will we never know again what it feels like to trust a flag, a uniform, that ever lunges for the throat? What kind of dystopia have they replaced our boundless world with while we slept?

Marissa Alexander’s sentence is overturned (Carmon, 2015) and Jordan Davis’s murderer is convicted (Pantazi, 2014). We cannot be thankful. Months passed wherein a Black woman who fired...

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