Brown, A. L. (2009). ‘O brotha where art thou?’Examining the ideological discourses of African American male teachers working with African American male students. Race Ethnicity and Education, 12(4), 473-493.
Since the early 1990s, several researchers have found that African American teachers who are successful with African American students hold deep philosophical commitments to the concept of ‘social justice’. While these scholars have convincingly articulated how ‘social justice’ is a central feature of African American teachers’ success with African American students, little attention has been given to whether African American teachers draw from diverse and/or competing ideological discourses to address the collective goal of achieving ‘social justice’. Employing the theoretical framework of nation language, the findings from this study illustrate how seven African American male teachers who worked with African American male students within a local educational context drew from multiple and sometimes contested conceptions of ‘social justice’. The findings from this study demonstrate that while the teachers held a ‘shared concern’ to radically alter the educational and social conditions of African American males, they each employed different and competing discourses of ‘social justice’. Thus, in the context of this study, the idea of ‘social justice’ was individually rendered, historically contingent and multifaceted.
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