Teachers in the Movement with Derrick P. Alridge | The LP: EP 13

September 20, 2023

It’s fascinating what educators of color historically have been able to do in this country despite deep and consistent obstacles. If you are a millennial or younger, it may not seem like there is an educator legacy that precedes you, but there is a rich one. One filled with high expectations, best practices, and resilience. Some powerful books are written about this subject (check out Episode 2), but we want to highlight a different type of text regarding this topic: a database. A database of oral histories from civil rights and post-civil rights era Black educators and students from “back in the day” where we can honor and retrieve mindsets and skillsets for providing grade-level, engaging, affirming, and meaningful instruction. In this episode, I speak with Professor Derrick Alridge, who leads the project for this database of oral history texts aptly called Teachers in the Movement. Join us as we dive into the past to pour into the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Teachers, during the Civil Rights era, were intellectual underground railroad conductors. Their movement toward abolition and equity existed in their instruction despite state, federal, and local oppression. This is something we can learn from today.
  • If we have professional development that includes structured learning experiences from elders and veteran teachers during epic times, we can enrich how teachers show up to become equity-focused instructors.
  • When we commit to having a humanity-based lens, teachers can navigate racial, ethnic, and socio-political lines in ways that don’t compromise their instruction but instead can amplify it. With folks like Derrick Alridge providing us access to instructional role models, I think this commitment can reach critical mass.