The rebirth of the call for antiracism in schools: learning from the past

Yaa Asare

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A prominent feature of the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd has been the renewed call for schools to become antiracist. What can be learnt from past unsuccessful attempts to implement antiracist education? Specific critiques of the antiracist movement made by prominent academics such as Paul Gilroy are worth revisiting. Research also suggests that sections of White working-class students were alienated by antiracist strategies that were often clumsy and exclusive in their implementation. In relation to state initiatives, there has been a shift from antiracist or multicultural agendas to the forefronting of the teaching of British values in schools. It is within this context, with the catalyst of popular outrage at racial injustice, that calls for antiracist education are again being vocalised. This article suggests that a renewed form of antiracism might focus on integrating a pedagogy of educating for social justice, setting out to avoid the polarisation of racialised categories. Rather than espousing a limited and essentialising discourse of race, a reexamination of class relations could usefully be positioned within a reformulated and reimagined antiracism that offers a critique of systemic injustice to include a wider constituency than race alone.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Number of pages6
JournalLondon Review of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Yaa Asare.


  • Black Lives Matter
  • White working class
  • antiracist education
  • intersectional


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