Racism is a sickness that permeates every aspect of Black life. But if the events of the past few years have taught us anything, it is that America has a hard time talking about issues that create disparity and inequality for Black people.
This inequality extends not just into education but also into physical education. Blacks are stereotyped as physically superior and intellectually deficient. They are marginalized in PE just as they are in other aspects of their lives.
Through a series of case studies, Critical Race Studies in Physical Education offers deep insights into the issues that Black students face. The text, geared to undergraduate and graduate PETE students and in-service teachers, does the following:
• Provides culturally aware teaching strategies that affirm the worth of Black students
• Amplifies the crucial issues that negatively affect Black students
• Addresses the litany of intentional and covert racist practices directed toward Black youth, thus broadening the book’s value beyond the sharing of teaching strategies
The end goal is to elevate the perspectives of Black youths and teachers and to normalize positive experiences for Black students in physical education.
To do so, Critical Race Studies in Physical Education provides the following:
• Eight case studies of situations that expose racism, disparities, and other issues affecting Black students’ well-being, self-worth, and healthy experiences in PE
• Critical race study discourse that stimulates discussion of relevant issues and enhances learning
• Reflective activities, resources, lesson considerations, and definitions to help students and in-service teachers use what they have learned through the case studies and discussions
Each case study includes discussion and reflection prompts that are meant to lead the way to effective strategies and immediate implementation opportunities. Here is a partial list of the case studies:
• A white elementary student uses the N-word toward a Black teacher
• A Black female student endures gendered racism and racial disparities through her swimming experiences
• A white teacher is oblivious to why her Black students don’t want to be outside in the sunshine or get their hair moist
• A new PE teacher harbors toxic masculinity, white supremacy, and stereotypes of Black sexuality
• White student teachers grapple with accepting job offers in an urban area
Black students need teachers to engage in anti-racist teaching practices that empower Black youth and aid in their success. For this to happen, teachers need to affirm students and make them feel safe, cared for, listened to, and recognized as worthy.
Critical Race Studies in Physical Education will help teachers of all races adopt the teaching practices that create this supportive, empathetic, and nurturing environment—and, in doing so, validate Black students’ self-worth and swing the pendulum back toward a more equitable education in PE.