An Uprising for Educational Justice

Edited by Denisha Jones and Jesse Hagopian
Foreword by Opal Tometi

Haymarket Books (December, 2021)

Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9781642592702 • US $24.95 • 5.5 in x 8.5 in • 300 pgs.


Black Lives Matter at School succinctly generalizes lessons from successful challenges to institutional racism that have been won through the BLM at School movement that began at one school in 2016 and has since spread to hundreds of schools across the country. This book will inspire many hundreds or thousands of educators to join the BLM at School movement at a moment when this antiracist work in education could not be more urgent.

Contributors include Opal Tometi who wrote a moving foreword, Bettina Love, who has a powerful chapter on abolitionist teaching, Brian Jones, who writes about centering BLM at School in the historical context of other struggles for racial justice in education and several prominent teacher union leaders from Chicago to Los Angeles and beyond who discuss the importance of anti-racist struggle in education unions. The book includes essays, interviews, poems, resolutions, and more from educators, students and parents around the country who have been building Black Lives Matter at School on the ground.


“The educators, students, and community activists whose stories are documented here are fighting for a transformative vision of what public schools can be, and the grassroots efforts we will need to get there. Black Lives Matter at School is an essential resource for all those seeking to build an antiracist school system.”

Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award recipient and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author 

“We need this book right now. The shadow-loving fungus of white supremacy won’t continue to send its spores to infect our children if we act now to bring the curative light of anti-racist knowledge, compassion, and justice into their lives. Built upon the Black Lives Matter at School organization’s Week of Action, this volume provides the adults in our educational institutions with inspiration, organizing principles, strategies, and examples to take ‘bold action against anti-Blackness.’ The authors – visionary educators of what is possible – call on all of us to radically reshape learning environments to make them safe, supportive, and transformative for all students (and teachers). Please read ASAP!”

Lisa Delpit, Executive Director of the Center for Urban Education and Innovation at Florida International University

“This book makes the strong case for why we need to elevate Black lives and people in our curriculum and pedagogy year-round. This book serves as a blueprint to achieve this honorable goal.” 

José Luis Vilson, author, This Is Not A Test, A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education

“There is no easy way to talk about the complexities of race facing our school system in America—but we have to talk about it if we are ever going to achieve the schools our children deserve.  The Black Lives Matter at School movement has been disrupting the complacency of those who, for too long, have been comfortable not having these conversations about the impact of racism in the schools.  Black Lives Matter at School is a playbook for undoing institutional racism in the education system.

Michael Bennett, NFL defensive lineman, Super Bowl champion, and author, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable

“This book asserts that we are at a critical moment in time, where the racial uprisings underpin the absolute need to transform education and its foundational practices. Black Lives Matter is a movement sweeping the globe and affirms that our babies lives matter. It’s time for educators to be bold, standing up for our students and communities. Our students are looking to us to lead the fight against injustice and dismantle systemic racism as we aspire to realize the schools our students deserve.”

Cecily Myart-Cruz, UTLA President, NEA Black Caucus Chair

Black Lives Matter at School centers the humanity of our children. It is a sharp rebuke of white supremacy—the very thing that interrupts the healthy development of Black youth. School communities must affirm Black lives. Educators have to dismantle systems of oppression—systems that we influence daily. We have to be radically different from the missionary educator depicted in popular culture. Black Lives Matter at School is essential. Period.”

Stacy Davis Gates, vice president, Chicago Teachers Union

“Toni Morrison reminds us: ‘If you can’t imagine it, you can’t have it.’ This book helps us to imagine Black Lives Mattering in schools. With accounts from teachers across the country doing the work, along with student interviews, poems, posters, and historical background, this is a primer for anti-racist educators to see the way forward in terms of reshaping school curriculum, diversifying teacher hiring, and transforming school discipline.”

Jeanne Theoharis, author, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History


Denisha Jones is a steering committee member of Black Lives Matter at School and Director of Teacher Education and an assistant professor in the School of Education at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. She is a former early childhood teacher and preschool director. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2013 and her J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia in 2018. She has been active in the fight to stop the corporate takeover of public education since 2011. She is a board member for the Badass Teachers Association, Inc., United Opt Out National, and Defending the Early Years. Her research interests include teachers and public policy, the effects of school reform mandates on low-income children, preparing culturally competent teachers, and youth civic engagement. In 2015 she was the recipient of the Bammy Award for College Professor of the Year from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

Jesse Hagopian is a member of the Black Lives Matter at School steering committee and teaches Ethnic Studies at Seattle’s Garfield High School. Jesse is an editor for Rethinking Schools magazine, the co-editor of the book, Teaching for Black Lives, and the editor of the book More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High Stakes Testing. Jesse is a recipient of the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of the Year” award and the Special Achievement “Courageous Leadership” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. In 2015, Jesse received the Seattle/King County NAACP Service Award. Jesse serves as the Director of the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award.


Audio book:

Production Company 
Tantor Media

Please contact subagents for the following languages and territories:

Language/Territory Subagent
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and VietnamBig Apple Agency
DutchSebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
FrenchDeborah Druba Agency
GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
GreekRead n' Right Agency
HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianBerla & Griffini Rights Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Scandinavia Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
Spanish in Latin AmericaInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
Spanish in SpainInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.