The Struggle for Antiracist Education

Jesse Hagopian

Haymarket Books (1 December 2024)

Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9798888902516 • US $19.95 • 5 in x 8 in • 320 pgs.


In the face of relentless attacks on antiracist education, an urgent call to defend students’ freedom to learn the truth about our history and the struggle for a better world.

In recent years, numerous states and school districts have enacted policies or laws mandating teachers lie to students about systemic racism and oppression—policies that impact nearly half of all students in the US. Thousands of books have been banned from schools. Teachers face termination, attacks, and disciplinary action. In Florida, where the official state curriculum declares slavery was of “personal benefit” to Black people, possessing a banned book can result in up to five years in jail.

Jesse Hagopian, a long-time organizer, writer, and K-12 teacher, shows how the playbook being used by the right today has roots in McCarthyism’s Red Scare and Lavender Scare. At stake is our ability to access systems of knowledge that challenge injustice. Yet the fight for liberatory education has a rich legacy, from resistance to anti-literacy laws for enslaved people, to the Black Lives Matter at School movement today.

Teach Truth is a call to defend honest education for our students, showing how we can reclaim suppressed history by creating beloved classroom communities and healthy social movements.


Praise for Black Lives Matter at School:

“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-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author

“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

“Part documentary, part guide to this movement for racial & educational justice on school campuses”

Seattle Times


Jesse Hagopian has taught in the public schools for over 20 years, serves on the Black Lives Matter at School steering committee, organizes for the Zinn Education Project, and founded the Ethnic Studies course at Seattle’s Garfield High School. He is an editor for Rethinking Schools magazine, the co-editor of Black Lives Matter at School and Teaching for Black Lives, and the editor of More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High Stakes Testing.


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