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Root Work Journal - Convening in the Ark - Volume 1, Issue 1

Remembering an Apocalyptic Education: Revealing Life Beneath the Waves of Black Being

Tiffani Marie

Apocalyptic Education

Kenjus Watson

Apocalyptic Education




We write, individually and collectively, as Black educators attempting to survive the ravages of schooling.  Along with a host of Black people, we too believed our schooling was a means toward liberation – a saving grace and way to honor the resilience of our people and their resistance to national investment in their undoing.   We conflated our humanization with matriculation in schools. We now recognize the inextricable link between our social death and the function of schools.  We have witnessed and experienced the social reproduction of Black death that schools rely upon for national order. As survivors, we lay to rest the schooling project, engaging Christina Sharpe’s (2016) mournful meditation on the Wake to exhume how even critical education work can reinforce the very projects it seeks to fight against.    


We hold ceremonial space for prospective and veteran educators across the K-20 continuum to re-conceptualize their curricular posture and join us in a final farewell to schools. From Shujaa (1993), we distinguish schooling from education and propose the Root Work of Apocalyptic Education, a meditation, a posture, an epistemological stance rooted in African ancestral ways of knowing (Ani, 1994; Fu- Kiau, 2014) to help us make sense of our loss and usher us into new ways of existing and being beyond the afterlife of schooling. 


*Both authors contributed equally to the preparation of this manuscript. Their names are listed alphabetically. This piece was crafted in September of 2019. The authors submitted this work, as it was originally rendered, in alignment with the aims of Root Work Journal. 

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