Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2019 Issue »

    Endless Mourning

    Racial Melancholia, Black Grief, and the Transformative Possibilities for Racial Justice in Education

    In this article, Justin Grinage investigates how black youth experience and contest racial trauma using racial melancholia, a psychoanalytic conception of grief, as a framework for understanding the nonpathologized endurance of black resistance to racism. Examining data from a yearlong ethnographic study, Grinage engages the notion that melancholia is needed for mourning to take place, a crucial distinction that engenders agency in relation to the constant (re)production of racial oppression in the lives of five black twelfth-grade students at a multiracial suburban US high school. Grinage illustrates how racial melancholia structures racial trauma and analyzes its effects on black identity, dismissing pathologizing definitions of racial injury while centralizing the importance of asset-based, healing-centered approaches for enacting racial justice in education.

    Click here to access this article.

    Justin Grinage (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7283-7238) is a postdoctoral associate in literacy education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. His research uses the concept of racial melancholia to discern the mechanisms by which racial trauma impacts education, teaching, and learning. His work has been published in English Education and Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. A former English language arts teacher, he worked in multiracial high school classrooms in the Twin Cities area for over a decade.

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    Summer 2019 Issue


    “Los Músicos”
    Mexican Corridos, the Aural Border, and the Evocative Musical Renderings of Transnational Youth

    Book Notes

    Land-Grant Universities for the Future
    Stephen M. Gavazzi and E. Gordon Gee

    Classroom Cultures
    Michelle G. Knight-Manuel and Joanne E. Marciano

    Ghosts in the Schoolyard
    Eve L. Ewing

    Data and Teaching
    Joseph P. McDonald, Nora M. Isacoff, and Dana Karin