“Fightin’ The Devil 24/7”

Context, Community, and Critical Race Praxis in Education

Authored by: David O. Stovall

Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415899956
eBook ISBN: 9780203155721
Adobe ISBN: 9781136581410

10.4324/9780203155721.ch21

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Abstract

About a year ago, I was invited by a friend who is deeply involved in education organizing to talk to a community group about a speak-out that was to take place at a local community center. Chicago Public Schools was in full-blown attrition mode, closing schools and replacing them with charters or some other educational management organization contract situation. The weather was bad that day, damp and dreary. In Chicago it’s the type of weather that can delay people from getting to meetings on time. Since my office was up the street, I walked over figuring that I would probably get there before everyone else. When I arrived at the building where the meeting was scheduled to take place, I walked to the office of the community organization that was sponsoring the event. The executive director opened the door for me and let me know that she needed to take care of a couple of things before she could come to the meeting. She pointed to where the meeting would be held and told me that people should be filing in shortly. While sitting by myself in the conference room, I began to wonder about the times I have been in meetings of two or three people when 30 or 40 were expected. I didn’t know how many folks were expected, but I constantly have to remind myself of a key component of community organizing: mass movements often start extremely small.

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