On April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the anti-war speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” in New York City at the Riverside Church. At the time, the United States framed its intervention in Vietnam as a mechanism to protect democracy worldwide. While this supposed defense of democracy raged on thousands of miles away, social protests for racial equity, political representation, and an economic livelihood for its most disenfranchised communities spread across the United States. Highlighting this contradiction in his anti-war speech, King presented his doubts regarding the government’s ability to eliminate the materialism, militarism, and racism that built the nation, a plight that continues today. Written from the perspectives of education practitioners and scholars who have personal histories with global war via (settler) colonialism, immigration, and subsequent disenfranchisement in the United States, Education at War addresses the vestiges of war that shape the lives of youth of color.
This thought-provoking collection of essays reveals how the contemporary specter of war has become a central way that racism and materialism are manifested and practiced within education. Education at War asserts that the contemporary neoliberal characterization of education and school-based reform is situated within the global political economy that has facilitated growth in the prison and military industrial complex, and simultaneous divestment from education domestically. Essays examine anti-war projects across the K–20 education continuum with chapters from educators who are from and/or work directly with the communities often pathologized in “damage-centered” educational discourse. The authors do not just frame the conditions faced by our communities as state-mediated but also as collectively resisted.
They place war, surveillance, and carcerality at the center of critical race analysis in education. Each of the chapters include a pedagogical component, including lessons and comments for educators and youth workers. In cultivating this text, the editors have contributed to building a community of educators, activists, teachers, and scholars who collectively explore how resistance can produce the opportunity for rich, diverse, and transformative learning for marginalized students and communities.
Contributors: Suzie M. Abajian, Yousef K. Baker, Dolores Calderon, Edward R. Curammeng, Chandni Desai, Maryam S. Griffin, Heather L. Horsley, David Stovall, Clayton Pierce, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Sepehr Vakil, Shirin Vossoughi,, Connie Wun, Miguel Zavala