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Abolitionist Teaching:

A Conversation with Dr. Bettina L. Love

In Part One Lucia and Tina talked with Dr. Love about hip hop education, freedom schools, and breaking the cycles of oppression. Love encourages her teacher education students to take risks and go beyond gimmicks and tricks in teaching. In the current resegregated public schools systems, abolitionist teaching requires creating a culturally-responsive pedagogy in which all students matter.

The impossible demand involves demanding the impossible—studying what freedom educators from Ella Baker to Christopher Emdin do to create a model for restorative justice in education. Love believes, “You can’t have liberation without queerness,” and it is queerness that allows us to push what society says is normal and do the work of freedom dreaming. A radical feminist leadership sees “knowledge as an embodied practice” that is intersectional and anti-oppression. Racism, bigotry, and hate is a triad that only a participatory democracy can defeat. Love invites listeners to join the struggle for freedom.

**Intro and interstitial music is by Lance Eric Haugan, with Aviva and the Flying Penguins.

**Outro music is by Paul Myhre, “7 Steps,” available on

about our guest/s

Dr. Bettina Love is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Theory & Practice (Early Childhood, Elementary Education) in the College of Education at the University of Georgia. Love is the creator of “Get Free: Hip Hop Civics Education” [], and is the author of Hip Hop Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South (Peter Lang, 2012) and We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom (Beacon Press, 2019).


Bettina L. Love’s website:

William Ayers, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher. Teachers College Press, 2010.

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights:

Regina Bradley on hip hop culture:

Christopher Emdin, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood . . . and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. Beacon Press, 2016.

Matthew R. Kay, Not Light But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom. Stenhouse Publishers, 2018.

Ibram X.,\ Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist. One World, 2019.

Bettina L. Love, “’Dear White Teachers: You Can’t Love Your Black Students If You Don’t Know Them:’ Why Loving ‘All’ Students Isn’t Good Enough,”

The 1619 Project (New York Times):

Jamila Lyiscott, Black Appetite. White Food: Issues of Race, Voice, and Justice withing and Beyond the Classroom. Routledge, 2019.

Monique W. Morris, Pushout: The Criminaliztion of Black Girls in School. The New Press, 2016.

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations about Race. Basic Books, 1997/2017.

Black Lives Matter website:

The Charleston Syllabus:

The Ferguson Syllabus: (Georgetown College)