Humanities Curricula as White Property: Toward a Reclamation of Black Creative Thought in Social Studies & Literary Curricula Academic Article uri icon


  • The curricular choices educators make when selecting certain words over others, adding or omitting certain characters, or using a curriculum that tells a story from a certain or single perspective will meaningfully determine which prisms or conceptualizations students cultivate to understand the world. The authors believe that expressions of Black creative thought, especially in classrooms, inform realizations about Black childhood and adulthood. In this article, the authors interrogate the harmful, anticritical, Eurocentric nature of humanities curricula and share the classroom strategies they developed and employed to mitigate it. The authors present the line of critical multicultural inquiry they continually pursue for redress. Furthermore, they thoughtfully, yet unapologetically, examine Black students exclusively in this article. The authors are aware that doing so might falsely suggest endorsement of rigid identity politics. However, they want to be clear that "writing about Black people only becomes essentialist when the experiences discussed are taken to portray a uniform Black experience or a universal experience that applies to every other group" (Roberts, 1998, p. 857), which this does not. Finally, considering the importance of creative thought and how crucial critical thinking is for creativity to effectively transpire, the authors acknowledge that Black students' classrooms tend to look more like containment facilities rather than places where imagination, creativity, innovation, freedom, and autonomy are practiced.

published proceedings

  • Multicultural Education

author list (cited authors)

  • Griffin, A., & James, A.

complete list of authors

  • Griffin, Autumn||James, ArCasia

publication date

  • January 2018