I Heard What You Said


A Black Teacher, A White System

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A thought-provoking and fearless exploration of how we can dismantle racism in the classroom and do better by all our students.An Amazon Best Non-Fiction Book of 2022‘Essential reading‘ – The Guardian‘Sharp and witty with moments of startling candour‘ – The i‘Revealing and beautifully written‘ – David Harewood_____Before Jeffrey Boakye was a black teacher, he was a black student. Which means he has spent a lifetime navigating places of learning that are white by default. Since training to teach, he has often been the only black teacher at school. At times seen as a role model, at others a source of curiosity, Boakye’s is a journey of exploration – from the outside looking in.In the groundbreaking I Heard What You Said, he recounts how it feels to be on the margins of the British education system. As a black, male teacher – an English teacher who has had to teach problematic texts – his very existence is a provocation to the status quo, giving him a unique perspective on the UK’s classrooms.Told through a series of eye-opening encounters based on the often challenging and sometimes outrageous things people have said to him or about him – from ‘Can you rap?‘ and ‘Have you been in prison?‘ to ‘Stephen who?‘ – Boakye reflects with passion and wit on what he has found out about the presumptions, silences and distortions that underpin the experience of black students and teachers._____‘Hugely important‘ – Baroness Lawrence‘Deeply compelling, intellectually rigorous and essential‘ – Nels Abbey‘Makes a powerful case‘ – Rt Hon Lady Hale]]>