“Teaching to Transgress”: Race and a Pedagogy of Empowerment in Kinesiology

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  • 1 School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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The legacy of racism and anti-Blackness that permeates society also permeates higher education, creating marginalizing experiences for many Black students. With few exceptions, critical discussions about race in kinesiology are lacking, or race talk is oppressive, negotiated as “safe talk,” and/or often silent and masked in race neutrality, racial coding, and color blindness. Consequently, a “quiet game” is in session in many kinesiology classrooms. However, racial silence has different meanings and effects on people of color. For Black students, race is often a salient part of their history, story, and lived experiences; consequently, it often impacts their learning inspiration and aspirations. This essay discusses the concept of “learning while Black” and illustrates ways in which kinesiology may “teach to transgress” racial oppression by intentionally and boldly embracing education as a practice of freedom, imparting race into a pedagogy of empowerment.

Address correspondence to ketra@umich.edu.

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