Because We Know

Toward a Pedagogical Insistence on Black Mattering


  • Wilson Kwamogi Okello University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Terah J. Stewart Iowa State University



Black mattering; anti-Blackness; pedagogy; curriculum


Black mattering is contested terrain. As we write this, more than 25 states and municipalities have proposed or passed legislation banning critical race theory (CRT) and the incorporation of material(s) that upset the normative curricular and pedagogical conditions of whiteness. Against this backdrop, what is mattering for Black people? This essay interrogates the formations and utilizations of educational pedagogies and curriculum. It raises questions about the implicit intent of these mechanisms on and for the lives of Black people, with specific attention to the notion of mattering. Plainly, pedagogies and curriculum that have failed to center or theorize the ways anti-Blackness facilitates projects of unmattering have engendered a set of conditions that reproduce anti-Black racism in and beyond the educational context. To address these conditions, we conceptually trouble the notion of mattering by meditating on a set of priorities urgently embodied by Black passage into and through anti-Black spaces and places.