The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

Culture, Power, and Education: The Philosophies and Pedagogy of African Centered Educators

Kmt G Shockley, Darrell Cleveland


The low academic performance of African American children has become a staple of the American educational system. At this point, conversations about Black children and failure are merely good ‘coffee talk’ for many. Afrocentric (Africentric / African centered) education is the only culturally centered comprehensive approach to addressing problems of miseducation, but there are complications: often African centered efforts are given short shrift in school systems, ignored in educational research, and most interestingly those asked to discuss or lead Afrocentric efforts are often opponents of the theories. While all of the aforementioned complications still exist, a band of African centered teachers continue to make a difference for students. This article focuses on the philosophies and pedagogies of three African centered teachers who are well-known for their impact on African American students. Descriptive vignettes are used to provide thick, rich descriptions of these African centered teachers.

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