Educator Book Club

This book club is a professional development series for educators. Though educators will be engaging with the book and participating in discussions and activities, the purpose is to ensure that participants are able to takeaway strategies  to use each text in educational spaces with their students.

Goals for this book club

  • Learn about, interact with, and commit to teaching the Black Historical Consciousness Principles (Power, Oppression, & Anti-Blackness, Agency, Resistance, & Justice, Africa & the African Diaspora, Black Emotionality, Black Identities, Historical Contention, Community, Local, & Social Histories, and Black Futurism).
  • Create a collection of resources and layered texts to pair with each book.
  • Engage in critical discussions and inquiry with other educators.
  • Build a community of educators to connect with and support within and outside of the book club.
  • Acknowledge that we too can learn Black histories through texts written for our students.

The Door of No Return

The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander.

Facilitated by: Dawnavyn M. James

Time: All sessions will be held at 11 a.m. ET by Zoom.

Abstract: This historical fiction, told in verse, is about 11-year-old Kofi in the Asante Kingdom of Africa. Kofi’s life is guided by his grandfather's wisdom and his love for swimming. He soon discovers why he is told not to swim at night and is forced into a journey that changes the course of his childhood.


Date Time Material
Sept. 9 11 a.m. Introduction to Book Club
Focus: Chapter 1 (read prior to meeting)
Sept. 23 11 a.m. Focus: Chapters 2 and 3
Sept. 30 11 a.m. Focus: Chapters 4 and 5
Oct. 7 11 a.m. Focus: Chapters 6 and 7
Oct. 21 11 a.m. Final Discussion

Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching

Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching Jarvis Givens.

Facilitated by: Richard Williams

Time: All sessions will be held at 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. ET by Zoom.

Abstract: Black education was a subversive act from its inception. African Americans pursued education through clandestine means, often in defiance of law and custom, even under threat of violence. They developed what Jarvis Givens calls a tradition of “fugitive pedagogy”—a theory and practice of Black education in America. The enslaved learned to read in spite of widespread prohibitions; newly emancipated people braved the dangers of integrating all-White schools and the hardships of building Black schools. Teachers developed covert instructional strategies, creative responses to the persistence of White opposition. From slavery through the Jim Crow era, Black people passed down this educational heritage.


Date Time  Material
Oct. 21 12:30 p.m. Introduction to Fugitive Pedagogy
Oct. 28 11 a.m. Pedagogy and its Evolution
Nov. 4 11 a.m. Understanding the Experiences of Black Students in Public Schools
Nov. 18 11 a.m. Role of Teachers in Fugitive Pedagogy
Dec. 2 11 a.m. Educator Professional Development and Fugitive Pedagogy
Dec. 9 12:30 p.m. Fugitive Pedagogy Book Study Reflection

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

Book cover, Pushout The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. Monique W. Morris.

Facilitated by: Daphanie Bibbs

Time: All sessions will be held at 11 a.m. ET by Zoom.

Abstract: Monique W. Morris chronicles the experiences of Black girls across the country whose complex lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Painting “a chilling picture of the plight of black girls and women today” (The Atlantic), Morris exposes a world of confined potential and supports the rising movement to challenge the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.



Date Time Material
Jan. 6 11 a.m. Chapter 1: Struggling to Survive
Jan. 13 11 a.m. Chapter 2: A Blues for Black Girls When the “Attitude” is Enough
Jan. 20 11 a.m. Chapter 3: Jezebel in the Classroom
Jan. 27 11 a.m. Chapter 4: Repairing Relationships, Rebuilding Connections
Feb. 3 11 a.m.

Beyond February: Teaching Black History Any Day, Every Day, All Year Long

Book cover, Beyond February.

Facilitated by: Dawnavyn James

Time: All sessions will be held at 12:30 p.m. ET by Zoom.

Abstract:  Dawnavyn James believes Black history shouldn't be relegated to the month of February. In her groundbreaking book, "Beyond February: Teaching Black History Any Day, Every Day, and All Year Long, K-3," she provides a practical guide for elementary educators who seek to teach history in truthful and meaningful ways that help young students understand the past, the present, and the world around them.

Drawing on her experiences as a classroom teacher and a Black history researcher, James illustrates the big and small ways that we can center Black history in our everyday teaching and learning practices across the curriculum using read-alouds, music, historical documents, art, and so much more.


Date Time Material
Feb. 10 12:30 p.m. Intro and Chapter 4: Beyond the Month
Feb. 17 12:30 p.m.
Chapter 1: Beyond the People
Feb. 24 12:30 p.m.
Chapter 2: Beyond the Books
Mar. 2 12:30 p.m.
Chapter 3: Beyond the Curriculum
Mar. 9 12:30 p.m.
Chapter 5: The Work Doesn't Stop Here

Black Lives Matter at School

Facilitated by: Montana Desabio and Greg Simmons

Time: All sessions will be held at 12:30 p.m. ET by Zoom.

Abstract:  Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones created a collection of essays, interviews, poems, and resolutions. Educators, students, and activists represent the demands for change in schools to end zero-tolerance discipline and replace it with restorative justice, undo institutional racism, implement Black and ethnic studies, and hire more Black teachers while funding counselors, not cops. The book is a way to connect the community, educators, and students to ensure that Black Lives Matter at School every day. 


Date Time Material
Apr. 6 12:30 p.m. Introduction and The Start of a Movement 
Apr. 20 12:30 p.m.
Securing Union Support: Successes and Struggles
Apr. 27 12:30 p.m.
Educators Doing the Work
May 4 12:30 p.m.
Voices of Students 
May 11 12:30 p.m.
Wrap Up