Bettina L. Love
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About Bettina L. Love
Bettina L. Love is an award-winning author and the Athletic Association Endowed Professor at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged, antiracist, antihomophobic, and antisexist educational, equitable classrooms. A sought-after public speaker on a range of topics, including hip-hop education, Black girlhood, queer youth, hip-hop feminism, art-based education to foster youth civic engagement, and issues of diversity, Love has also provided commentary for news outlets including NPR, the Guardian, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Author photo: Tiffany Stubbs
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Titles By Bettina L. Love
Drawing on personal stories, research, and historical events, an esteemed educator offers a vision of educational justice inspired by the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.
Drawing on her life’s work of teaching and researching in urban schools, Bettina Love persuasively argues that educators must teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical civic initiatives and movements. She argues that the US educational system is maintained by and profits from the suffering of children of color. Instead of trying to repair a flawed system, educational reformers offer survival tactics in the forms of test-taking skills, acronyms, grit labs, and character education, which Love calls the educational survival complex.
To dismantle the educational survival complex and to achieve educational freedom—not merely reform—teachers, parents, and community leaders must approach education with the imagination, determination, boldness, and urgency of an abolitionist. Following in the tradition of activists like Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin, and Fannie Lou Hamer, We Want to Do More Than Survive introduces an alternative to traditional modes of educational reform and expands our ideas of civic engagement and intersectional justice.
Born from sustained organizing, and rooted in Black and women of color feminisms, disability justice, and other movements, abolition calls for an end to our reliance on imprisonment, policing and surveillance, and to imagine a safer future for our communities.
Lessons in Liberation: An Abolitionist Toolkit for Educators offers entry points to build critical and intentional bridges between educational practice and the growing movement for abolition. Designed for educators, parents, and young people, this toolkit shines a light on innovative abolitionist projects, particularly in Pre-K–12 learning contexts.
Sections are dedicated to entry points into Prison Industrial Complex abolition and education; the application of the lessons and principles of abolition; and stories about growing abolition outside of school settings. Topics addressed throughout include student organizing, immigrant justice in the face of ICE, approaches to sex education, arts-based curriculum, and building abolitionist skills and thinking in lesson plans.
The result of patient and urgent work, and more than five years in the making, Lessons in Liberation invites educators into the work of abolition.
Contributors include Black Organizing Project, Chicago Women’s Health Center, Mariame Kaba and Project NIA, Bettina L. Love, the MILPA Collective, and artists from the Justseeds Collective, among others.
The album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill sold over 420,000 copies in its first week, received ten Grammy nominations (winning five). Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader critically engages the work of Ms. Hill, highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of the album. Beyond the album’s commercial success, Ms. Hill’s radical self-consciousness and exuberance for life led listeners through her Black girl journey of love, motherhood, admonition, redemption, spirituality, sexuality, politics, and nostalgia that affirmed the power of creativity, resistance, and the tradition of African storytelling. Ms. Hill’s album provides inspirational energies that serve as a foundational text for Black girlhood. In many ways it is the definitive work of Black girlhood for the Hip Hop generation and beyond because it opened our eyes to a holistic narrative of woman and mother. Twenty years after the release of the album, we pay tribute to this work by adding to the quilt of Black girls’ stories with the threads of feminist consciousness, which are particularly imperative in this space where we declare: Black girls matter.
Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood is the first book to academically engage the work of the incomparable Ms. Hill. It intellectually wrestles with the interdisciplinary nature of Ms. Hill’s album, centering the connection between the music of Ms. Hill and the lives of Black girls. The essays in this collection utilize personal narratives and professional pedagogies and invite students, scholars, and readers to reflect on how Ms. Hill’s album influenced their past, present, and future.