We Want to Do More Than Survive

We Want to Do More Than Survive Summary

Winner of the 2020 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award

Drawing on personal stories, research, and historical events, an esteemed educator offers a vision of educational justice inspired by the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.

Drawing on her life’s work of teaching and researching in urban schools, Bettina Love persuasively argues that educators must teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical civic initiatives and movements. She argues that the US educational system is maintained by and profits from the suffering of children of color. Instead of trying to repair a flawed system, educational reformers offer survival tactics in the forms of test-taking skills, acronyms, grit labs, and character education, which Love calls the educational survival complex.

To dismantle the educational survival complex and to achieve educational freedom—not merely reform—teachers, parents, and community leaders must approach education with the imagination, determination, boldness, and urgency of an abolitionist. Following in the tradition of activists like Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin, and Fannie Lou Hamer, We Want to Do More Than Survive introduces an alternative to traditional modes of educational reform and expands our ideas of civic engagement and intersectional justice.



Book Reviews

Mrs. Allen1808

Empowering and deeply reflective!!!5 star

This is a wonderful book that I have now read twice. Thank you for all your dedication and knowledge that you have imparted in this wonderful book.55

Nupeykid

Paths to freedom for every educator and student5 star

Dr. Bettina Love writes this volume like a collection of torches lighting the path to liberation. It is engaging, riveting and truthful, and approaches abolitionist teaching from a black queer feminist lens. If you are looking to challenge your definition of freedom, this will give you tools to do so—and to create a new definition of what it can look like.55





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