We at TAG National contribute to the movement for Black Lives by providing resources for educators who, like ourselves, reject the ideology of disposable Black bodies. The Black Lives Matter movement is in its essence about countering the historic, systemic and ongoing dehumanization of Black people. We most vividly see this dehumanization in the literal discarding of Black bodies via state-sanctioned murder, as in the instances of Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Tarika Wilson, and Tamir Rice, to name just a very few. But other contexts for the unmattering of Black people exist, including—for example—the poisoned water in Flint, policies like Stop and Frisk that contribute to mass incarceration, and predatory lending followed by mass evictions and foreclosures.
TAG National sees schools as another of these contexts—a key site of the dehumanization Black lives. This is our lane and we have something to offer the movement for Black Lives in the context of schools. We salute organizations and coalitions that are putting their freedom (and therefore their lives) on the line through their direct action work. While we certainly have individuals within our member organizations involved with this direct action, we as a network of education justice organizations feel most suited and well-positioned to offer fellow educators and organizers resources for working with young people to understand and confront the mattering of Black lives. In this vein, we present curricula from our member organizations that provide text and context for dialogue and analysis about the humanizing center of the movement.
We urge folks who would like to use the resources to consider and understand that more important than any particular lesson, text, or activity is how we be with young people. One must fundamentally live Black Lives Matter to teach that Black lives matter.