The Urban Review

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 46–64 | Cite as

Show Us the Love: Revolutionary Teaching in (Un)Critical Times

  • Lamar L. JohnsonEmail author
  • Nathaniel Bryan
  • Gloria Boutte


In the wake of racial violence in urban schools and society, we question, “Can the field of urban education love blackness and Black lives unconditionally and as preconditions to humanity? What does it look like to (re)imagine urban classrooms as sites of love? As educators, how might we utilize a pedagogy of love as an embodied practice that influences holistic teaching? How might we utilize a pedagogy of love to include Black youths’ racialized and gendered life histories and experiences and their language and literacy practices? We outline and discuss five types of violence in schools (physical, symbolic, linguistic, curricula/pedagogical, and systemic school violence) which interfere with the creation and sustainability of revolutionary love in urban schools. We present examples of ‘fake love’ and provide the current backdrop. We operationalize revolutionary love and offer Afrocentric praxis and African Diaspora Literacy as antidotes to anti-Black types of violence that many students experience in urban schools.


Anti-blackness Diaspora literacy Love Violence Urban education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lamar L. Johnson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nathaniel Bryan
    • 2
  • Gloria Boutte
    • 3
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Teacher EducationMiami UniversityOxfordUSA
  3. 3.Teacher EducationUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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