- Gabby Womack
Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues by Monique W. Morris
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
"A groundbreaking and visionary call to action on educating and supporting girls of color, from the highly acclaimed author of Pushout
Wise Black women have known for centuries that the blues have been a platform for truth-telling, an underground musical railroad to survival, and an essential form of resistance, healing, and learning. In her highly anticipated follow-up to the widely acclaimed Pushout on the criminalization of black girls in schools, Monique W. Morris invokes the spirit of the blues to articulate a radically healing and empowering pedagogy for Black and Brown girls.
A passionate manifesto that builds naturally on her previous book, Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues reimagines what education might look like if schools placed the flourishing of Black and Brown girls at their center. Grounding each chapter in interviews, case studies, and testimonies of educators who work successfully with girls of color, Morris blends research with real-life to offer a radiant manifesto on moving away from punishment, trauma, and discrimination toward safety, justice, and genuine community in our schools.
In the tradition of For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood and Other People’s Children, Morris’s new book is a clarion call—for educators, parents, students, and anyone who has a stake in a better tomorrow—to transform schools into places where learning and collective healing can flourish." - TheStoryGraph
This is the book I wish every educator, parent, administrator, therapist, politician, etc. would read! I love Morris's multipronged approach to writing about education liberation. From the quotes out of blues songs to the interviews with students, gave a personal touch to every "track" in this book. I listened to this on audiobook but often had to stop and pick up my electronic or print copy to take notes because it included real examples of how to empower and heal Black and Brown girls while rethinking our current system.
Somehow, Morris is able to present her audience with the terrible realities of our current education system in the United States without creating a sense of despondence. Her advice and examples of programs and schools that have successfully implemented liberation work brought me hope. Sometimes antiracist work feels like it's never-ending and causes me to feel like I'm an ant trying to build a hill on my own. This book reminded me that there are many more people in the thick of it than I sometimes imagine. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it and I'm not alone.
Please read this book and take notes. Sit with it. You may need to take breaks from time to time but it is so rewarding.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone involved in education, welfare, psychology, criminal justice, social work, politics, information, youth programs, and guardians/parents.