Brown v Board of Education, the landmark civil rights decision banning racial segregation in public schools, was supposed to give Black children greater educational opportunities. But instead, according to Columbia Teachers College professor Bettina Love, it marked the beginning of an anti-Black educational agenda, characterized by low academic expectations, excessive suspensions, surveillance and physical violence. Love grew up in the 1980s and 90s, a period when the Reagan and Bush administrations pushed ideas of “school accountability” and “school safety” that she says were used to justify punishment of Black children and that have harmed a generation. We talk to Love about her and her peers’ experiences in school as “eighties babies” and why she thinks reparations are essential to repair public education.
Forum From the Archives: Bettina Love on How Black Students are 'Punished for Dreaming'
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We talk to Love about her and her peers’ experiences in school as “eighties babies” and why she thinks reparations are essential to repair public education. (Klaus Vedfelt via Getty Images)
Bettina Love, professor at Teachers College, Columbia University; author, "Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal"