Moving beyond antiblackness: From Critical Race Theory to BlackCrit

Submission Deadline Date: 8 October 2022


The impetus for this special BlackCrit issue in the Journal For Multicultural Education (JME) stems from the antiblack sentiment that motivated the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, (State University of New York (SUNY) at Dutchess Community College (DCC) student) Maurice Gordon, and the internationally influential Pro-Black outpourings of the Black Lives Matter movement (Garza, [Cullors, Tometi], 2014) that inspired the formation of the SUNY Black Faculty and Staff Collective (SBFSC). Antiblackness is endemic in US and Global education contexts (Dumas, 2016; Dumas & Ross, 2016; Spillers, 1987; Hartman, 1997; Wynter, 1994, 2003; Wilderson, 2010; Sexton, 2008; Love, 2020; McKittrick, 2014; Baker-Bell, 2020; Fanon, 1970; Coles, 2019, 2020; and Mustaffa, 2017). For example, Critical Race Theory has recently been banned from teaching is US public schools (Morgan, 2022), and antiblack educational practices have increased in international contexts (Busey & Coleman-King, 2020). However, when solely focusing on antiblack oppression, all can seem hopeless. Thus, we aim to further theorizations and conceptualizations of Black Critical theory (BlackCrit) that focus on Black joy in the domains of Freedom Dreams (Kelley, 2002), Critical Love (Sealey-Ruiz, 2020; Jackson et al., 2014), and Afrofuturism (Yasnek, 2006; Barber et al., 2015).

Black Critical Theory (BlackCrit) is necessary because Critical Race Theory (CRT) (Bell, 1980; Delgado, 1995; Harris, 1993; Crenshaw et. al.,1995) does not clearly present a theory for examining how antiblackness incites and directs racism (Dumas & ross, 2016). Thus, antiblackness needs to be collectively and robustly researched and discussed for the field to grow and help disrupt racism in the Higher Ed, (traditional and nontraditional) research spaces, and beyond. BlackCrit scholars Dumas & ross (2016) argue that BlackCrit remains under theorized. They further assert, “Particularly in an age where technology often renders brutal antiblackness visible as public spectacle, and calls of ‘Black lives matter’ echo in the streets, we must ask, what are the theoretical tools that will assist us in an examination of the specificity of the Black” (Dumas & Ross, 2016, p. 428); this BlackCrit CFP seeks manuscripts that answer their question.

Scholarship regarding the diversity inherent within Blackness — particularly with regard to fugitive states, Freedom Dreams, Critical Love, and Afro-futurist possibilities — is neither readily available nor easily accessible. Hence, the choice to highlight these diverse fugitivities as germane subtopics with regard to BlackCrit education research on anti- and pro-Blackness reflects the SBFSC’s desire to contribute to the establishment and advancement of positive, Afro-centric foundational perspectives in the study of Blackness that acknowledges complex personhood (Gordon, 1997) while disrupting and abolishing antiblackness. This scholarship intends to prove beneficial by cementing the current BlackCrit turn and inciting radical, Pro-Black shifts in education research, policy creation, and teacher practices that affect the material and psychic lives and livelihoods of all Black students, teachers, alumni, staff, administrators, and communities.

The SBFSC welcomes and encourages submissions from BIPOC faculty, as well as graduate students, whose work primarily lies at the intersections of antiblackness: Black Studies, Black Fungibility, Freedom Dreams, Critical Love, Radical Possibilities, Afro-pessimism, Radical Resistance, Critical Disability Studies, BlackCrit, Black Feminist Thought, Black Queer “Quare” Studies, Black Masculinities, Afro-futurism, and Black Science and Technology Studies, amongst other fields.

Specific subtopics may include, but are not limited to:

  • How teaching Black science fiction can disrupt colorblind imagination narratives
  • The contemporary fungibility of the Black body in the academy and beyond
  • Freedom Dreaming, BLM and Revolutionary acts in Black Social Technoculture
  • How communal and/or pedagogical Critical Love disrupts neoliberal Black (de)humanization
  • Freedom Dreaming as an act of Black Love
  • Critical Love as manifestations of Pro-Blackness
  • Black to the Future: Critical examinations of Black Queer Bodies in historical and contemporary text and media
  • The misinterpretation of Black Feminist Thought for the Neoliberal agenda
  • Dreaming of a world with no lead: Using Data to plan Water justice for Black Communities
  • The intersections of critical love and Healthcare: Addressing Reproductive (in)Justice
  • Let Love lead the way: How Critical Love creates Pro-Black support spaces in America and Abroad.
  • Anti-Black (Dis)ability practices in Higher Ed: Exposing and disrupting the intersections between Anti-Blackness and (Dis)ability
  • Building back Blacker: Urban Planning as a Vehicle for Pro-Black Community Building
  • 1 in 2 -- HIV and the Black Queer Body: the intersections of Anti-Blackness, LGBTQIA, Healthcare, and Geography
  • Black Trans radical resistance as manifestations of contemporary Freedom Dreams

This special issue, then, will seek contributions that include both theoretical pieces and direct research that foregrounds the voices of those educators, students, and academics who have been engaged in BlackCrit work. Together this will serve to build a vision of what an equitable, pro-Black, and just future can be for our schools and communities.


Submission Information

To submit to this special issue, please view our submission guidelines here and send full submissions (4,000-6,000 words -- inclusive of references, structured abstract, tables, images, and footnotes) to the following link by October 15, 2022: Please remember that all submissions must contain a structured abstract, and all tables, figures, or images count as 280 words each. Moreover, all submissions should be in Emerald’s Harvard Reference Style. Here is a link to JME for more details about formatting and styling:

Submission deadline: 8 October 2022

Please note that JME is a peer-reviewed journal that features work from a broad range of scholars.

If you have questions about the submission process, please feel free to reach out to Jordan Bell at [email protected].




Baker-Bell, A. (2020). Dismantling anti-black linguistic racism in English language arts classrooms: Toward an anti-racist black language pedagogy. Theory Into Practice, 59(1), 8-21.

Bell Jr, D. A. (1980). Brown v. Board of Education and the interest-convergence dilemma. Harvard law review, 518-533.

Coles, J. A. (2019). The Black literacies of urban high school youth countering antiblackness in the context of neoliberal multiculturalism. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 15(2), 1–35.

Coles, J. A. (2020). A BlackCrit re/imagining of urban schooling social education through Black youth enactments of Black storywork. Urban Education, DOI: 0042085920908919.

Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G., & Thomas, K. (1995). Critical race theory. The Key Writings that formed the Movement. New York, 276-291.

Delgado, R. (1995). The Rodrigo chronicles: Conversations about America and race. NYU Press.

Dumas, M. J. (2016). Against the dark: Antiblackness in education policy and discourse. Theory into Practice, 55(1), 11–19.

Dumas, M. J., & Ross, K. M. (2016). Be real Black for me: Imagining BlackCrit in education. Urban Education, 51(4), 415–442.

Gordon, L. R. (1997). Existence in Black. New York, NY: Routledge. 

Fanon, F. (1970). Black skin, white masks (pp. 13-30). London: Paladin.

Garza, A. (2014). A herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Gordon, A. (1997). Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the. Sociological Imagination.

Hartman, S. V. (1997). Scenes of subjection: Terror, slavery and self-making in nineteenth-century America. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 

Harris, C. I. (1993). Whiteness as property. Harvard law review, 1707-1791.

Love, B. L. (2020). There is nothing fragile about racism. Education Week, 40(2), 16.…

McKittrick, K. (2014). Mathematics Black Life, The Black Scholar, 44:2, 16-28, DOI: 10.1080/00064246.2014.11413684

Mustaffa, J. B. (2017). Mapping violence, naming life: a history of anti-Black oppression in the higher education system. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 30(8), 711–727.

Sexton, J. (2008). Amalgamation schemes: Antiblackness and the critique of multiracialism. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota. 

Spillers, H. J. (1987). Mama's baby, papa's maybe: An American grammar book. diacritics, 17(2), 65-81.

Warren, C. L. (2018). Ontological Terror: Blackness, Nihilism, and Emancipation. Duke University Press. 

Wilderson III, F. B. (2010). Red, white & black: Cinema and the structure of US antagonisms. Duke University Press.

Wynter, S. (1994). No humans involved: An open letter to my colleagues. In Forum NHI: Knowledge for the 21st century (Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 42-73). Stanford: Institute NHI.

Wynter, S. (2003). Unsettling the coloniality of being/power/truth/freedom: Towards the human, after man, its overrepresentation — An argument. CR: The New Centennial Review, 3(3), 257-337.