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Black Hands in the Biscuits- Not in the Classrooms

Unveiling Hope in a Struggle for <I>Brown</I>’s Promise


Sherick A. Hughes

This book won the 2007 AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award.

From «Nigger, Nigger, Black as Tar, Won’t Go to Heaven in a Motor Car» to «They’re Not Ready Yet,» this book breathes life into an often-abandoned, rural Black family story. This book illuminates a struggle and hope for education in Southern desegregated grade schools and illustrates school experiences from multiple generations within three Black families as it introduces Black family pedagogy «of roots and wings» – keys to survival and success at a crossroads of law, tradition, and transition. Black Hands in the Biscuits Not in the Classrooms is a must read for lifelong students of education, sociology, public policy, and history.

«Sherick Hughes has reversed the presumed story of Black America. In the usual story, struggles of African Americans end up presumably in despair and become social problems to be dealt with by public policies. What Dr. Hughes reveals to us is that racial struggle can also be understood in the contexts of hope and faith. Indeed, this book demonstrates that hope is the pedagogy used by African Americans in this southern community to survive the turmoil of desegregation and slow and violent pace of cultural and social change. Hope is the pedagogy that families use to prepare their African American children to survive racism and to prepare them for the challenges to come. Dr. Hughes’s analysis has the potential for more racial uplift than any governmental policy could effect. (George W. Nobit, Joseph R. Neikirk Distinguished Professor, School of Education, The University of North Carolina)
«Sherick A. Hughes captures my soul with this book. I see my story in his story, his elders are my elders, and his family is my family. The narratives presented in this book represent the many narratives of hope, promise, and uplift many Black folks receive from their elders. In many ways this book is a «homecoming» because you can feel the love, pride, and energy that are present in each family’s quest for education. This book is appropriate for students and scholars alike because it represents the space between hope and struggle.» (Robert Berry, Assistant Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia)