The Job of the Writer is “to Make Revolution Irresistible

Khalilah Ali


Using converging lenses including Freirean (1998) Critical Pedagogy, specifically his conceptualization of teacher as cultural worker, and Ali’s (2011) Womanist Performance Pedagogy (WPP), this study sought to understand how a representative case, artist, activist and educator Toni Cade Bambara, constructed a radical teacher identity both inside and outside traditional spaces. Domain analysis was employed to analyze interviews along with document analysis to examine archival materials and published texts. Findings indicate Bambara believed cultural work, including performances and art production, informs professional practice and pedagogy. Bambara further contends aesthetic artifacts should be “usable” as educative texts. Furthermore, the case surmises that one’s teaching identity is grounded in personal history as it relates to the larger socio-political context and as such black female teachers are instrumental in theorizing about and creating culturally relevant pedagogies.

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