Hayes, Juarez, and Escoffery-Runnels (2014) analyzed the educational philosophies and pedagogical practices of two educators to understand how personal and professional experiences individually and collectively influenced their approach to teaching. Using oral histories, they presented an argument of why culturally relevant and social justice–oriented teaching has historically been an effective tool in educating students of color, and why it is necessary for teacher preparation in today’s so-called post-racial climate. We suggest that that the education system is merely a microcosm of society, and consequently, we must consider structures larger than individual best practices when discussing culturally relevant teaching. Bridges to benefits are networks of White privilege that flow between institutions, such as education, the economy, and the law, and that involve capitalizing on the misery of Blacks while simultaneously protecting White supremacy. We use the “bridges to benefits” concept to propose that scholars not focus solely on education but rather focus on how social institutions in general are created and designed such that they continually oppress and suppress Black and Brown Americans. We draw special attention to America’s criminal justice system, labor, and housing market.

Response to Article

Cleveland Hayes, Brenda Juarez, and Veronica Escoffery-Runnels, We Were There Too: Learning from Black Male Teachers in Mississippi about Successful Teaching of Black Students