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Double-Talking: The Complexities Surrounding Black Male Teachers as Both Problems and Solutions

Black Male Teachers

ISBN: 978-1-78190-621-7, eISBN: 978-1-78190-622-4

ISSN: 2051-2317

Publication date: 4 April 2013


Simultaneously drawing from DuBois’ timeless question, “How does it feel to be a problem?” (DuBois, 1990[1903], p. 7) and contemporary notions that Black males are the solution to solving social and educational troubles in the Black community such as gang violence, high school dropout rates, and fatherless homes (Duncan, 2011), we focus on the positioning of Black males in the discourse on teacher recruitment and retention. While acknowledging the need to recruit and retain Black male teachers, we explore the weightiness of viewing Black males as the panacea for educational and social issues in schools such as disproportionate dropout and expulsion rates for students of color and youth involvement in gangs. We identify both challenges and opportunities faced by Black males and capture the complex and sometimes contradictory discourses. Particular attention is given to deconstructing the “double-talk” (Black males as both a problem and a solution) which positions Black male teachers as both the crisis and the savior/superhero.


Jackson, T.O., Boutte, G.S. and Wilson, B.S. (2013), "Double-Talking: The Complexities Surrounding Black Male Teachers as Both Problems and Solutions", Lewis, C.W. and Toldson, I.A. (Ed.) Black Male Teachers (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 117-131.



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