Black Lives Matter and Rural Education

Guest Editors:
Ezekiel Joubert, III, PhD. and Timothy Lensmire, PhD.

Black matters are rural matters. Drawing from scholars James Anderson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, bell hooks, Robin D.G. Kelley, Joyce E. Allen-Smith, James B. Stewart and others, we understand the rural as a relevant and critical geography for understanding dominant ideologies of the state, political economy, race relations, policing, social/racial violence and education. For this special issue, we ask contributors to explore how race, rurality and social change manifest in educational spaces and schools. We seek contributions from educational researchers, interdisciplinary scholars, activists, artists and organic intellectuals whose work and writing center rural people, places and experience. Our goal is to feature public facing essays and scholarly research in order to deepen our understanding of the relationships among rural communities, the movement for Black Lives and education.

For this special issue of the Journal of Research in Rural Education we ask contributors to focus on (but not be limited to) themes such as black rural struggle, rural relationality and collective inequities. Following Kelley’s Hammer and Hoe, we are interested in manuscripts about Black rural organizing and protest thought that critically examine, for example, the history of labor exploitation, spatial segregation, and anti-black racial violence as a route to the study of rural education. In addition, we deem rural relationality (see, for example, Joubert, 2019, and Lensmire, 2017) as a significant theme for undoing the misconceptions and misrepresentations of rurality. We anticipate accounts of race relations and racial identity development that question dominant images of rural educational spaces as white and monocultural, in order to highlight interracial and cross-cultural social life, solidarity, healing and kinship. Equally important, we understand that when the movement for Black Lives is viewed as urban it creates absences and erasures of the collective inequities facing black communities across educational geographies, as they intersect with issues such as police brutality, health care, LGBTQ rights, voter suppression, environmental justice, prison abolition, and educational equality. These themes necessitate theoretical, methodological, pedagogical and curricular explorations and interventions that trouble and disrupt how we imagine educational spaces and public pedagogies in rural places. It is our hope that this issue will give readers, researchers, and activists entry into the transformational potential and educational implications of studying rural communities and racial justice.

Project Timeline
Deadline for abstracts (250 words): September 28th, 2020 (send to
Invitations from editors for full papers: October 12th, 2020
Final papers (3,000-8,000 words) due to editors: December 14th, 2020
Editors’ feedback and request for revisions: January 22, 2021
Final versions of paper due: February 19th, 2021
Publication: April, 2021

Ezekiel Joubert, III:
Timothy Lensmire:

JRRE and BLM Call for Submissions[1] (2).pdf