Macklemore and Michael Bennett buy “Teaching for Black Lives” book for all Seattle secondary humanities teachers

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Grammy award winning artist Macklemore and three time NFL pro bowler Michael Bennett team up to purchase the new critically acclaimed book, Teaching for Black Lives, for distribution to ALL Social Studies & Language Arts Teachers in the Seattle Public Schools

The new book from Rethinking Schools called, “A Handbook for all educators to fight racism” by the Washington Post

Hear from the editors of the book at a Seattle Town Hall event

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From left to right: Jesse Hagopian (co-editor of Teaching for Black Lives), Michael Bennett, Macklemore [Photo Credit: Ben Secord].
Seattle, WA, September, 12, 2018Grammy award winning Seattle-based artist Macklemore and three-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Bennett have teamed up to purchase and distribute copies of the new critically acclaimed book, Teaching for Black Lives to every middle and high school Social Studies and Language Arts teacher in the Seattle Public Schools. Michael Bennett said, “This is the book I wish I had coming up in school but it never existed. Now we have the opportunity to educate thousands of youth about the Black history that was too often missing from my schooling—from the building of the White House, to the role of Black youth in social movements, to organizing for restorative justice today.”

Macklemore added, “With everything from history, to poetry, to visual art, these lessons will help educators affirm the lives of their Black students and create deeper dialogue in our schools about the struggles and contributions of Black people that all students need to learn.”

Teaching for Black Lives is a collection of teaching activities, role-plays, essays, poems and art designed to help educators humanize Black people in the curriculum. The book demonstrates how teachers can connect the curriculum to young people’s lives and explore how classrooms and schools can be set up either to reproduce racism or challenge it.

This wide distribution of Teaching for Black Lives comes at an ideal time to help support Seattle Public Schools’ ethnic studies initiative. Last year SPS convened an ethnic studies taskforce which helped coordinate the piloting of ethnic studies curriculum at fifteen schools—including educators who used materials from Teaching for Black Lives. Additionally, thousands of Seattle educators have participated in the “Black Lives Matter at School” initiative over the past two years demonstrating the tremendous desire of educators to deepen the discussions in the classroom about race and equity.

Teaching for Black Lives has received critical acclaim from educators and publications around the country. Lily Eskelsen García, the president of the National Education Association, said of the book’s authors, “Their eloquence and passion force us to challenge our assumptions about other people and ourselves. To me, that’s the very best kind of reading.” Teaching for Black Lives was named to Teaching for Change’s “Social Justice Book List” for 2018. The Seattle Times wrote, “Teaching For Black Lives book presents ideas for empowering marginalized students.” The Washington Post called Teaching for Black Lives, “A handbook for all educators to fight racism.”

Teaching for Black Lives was produced by the non-profit publisher Rethinking Schools, which also publishes a quarterly magazine for educators. The book’s editors are Dr. Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian and Dr. Wayne Au. Dr. Watson is an editor for Rethinking Schools and the social studies coordinator for the secondary program in teacher education at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Jesse Hagopian is an award winning Ethnic Studies teacher at Seattle’s Garfield High School, an editor for Rethinking Schools, and is the director of the Black Education Matters Award. Dr. Au is an editor for Rethinking Schools, a renowned author of many books on education, and a professor in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Washington, Bothell campus where he also serves as the Dean of Diversity and Equity.

Jesse Hagopian said, “I am grateful for the generosity of Michael Bennett and Macklemore in helping to bring our book to the educators of Seattle. This is a truly exciting moment in the struggle to empower students and break barriers of injustice to create equitable classrooms.”

The editors of Teaching for Black Lives will be participating in a Seattle Town Hall book launch event on Monday, September 24th at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.


Jesse Hagopian is available for comment at: https://iamaneducator.com/about/contact-me/

You can order Teaching for Black Lives at: https://www.rethinkingschools.org/books/title/teaching-for-black-lives

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