Teaching should never be color-blind. In her compelling and unapologetic memoir, Teaching While Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City, teacher and writer Pamela Lewis urges her fellow educators not only to acknowledge race but to consider both the traumatic and healing impact that curriculum, pedagogical practice, and social interaction can have on students and colleagues of color. Chronicling the vast spectrum of emotions felt by Black and Brown students and teachers within school walls, Lewis explains, as her title suggests, that teaching—and learning—while Black can be an equally harrowing and awe-inspiring experience.
Hard-hitting and eloquently written, Teaching While Black offers an insightful, honest portrayal of Lewis’s fight to survive in a profession that has undervalued her worth and her understanding of the kind of education and connection urban children of color need to succeed. The reader gains full access to a perspective that has been virtually ignored since the integration of schools, through which questions surrounding increased resignation rates by teachers of color and failing test scores can be answered.
Teaching While Black is both a deeply personal narrative about a Black woman’s struggle to be heard and a clarion call for cultural responsiveness and teacher accountability. In this must-read account, Lewis summons every teacher of all races to re-examine their teaching methods and agendas and to remember who it is that they serve.