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Black Lives Matter course seeks to remedy educational injustice in BCPSS

By Delana Penn

As stated in the recently ratified resolution on Black Lives Matter by the Baltimore Teachers Union Executive Board, the BLM movement advocates against educational injustice as a form of institutional racism. It is far too often that our schools have been and continue to be places where our Black students experience that their lives do not matter through curriculum. As standardized curriculum fails to include their lived experiences, power systems simply ignore their families’ voices, and the school choice process creates an unfair competition for a quality education, instead of providing it to every student as a basic right.

To address this educational injustice, BTU members helped create a new course for educators with the overarching goal of designing research-based Black Lives Matter (BLM) lesson plans and curriculum which focused on past and present racial issues within Baltimore City. The lesson plans were then shared by the educators during the Black Lives Matter Week of Action February 1-5, 2021. Many Baltimore City teachers presented their lessons school-wide and/or to their respective students with the intent to showcase the importance of better understanding the Black Lives Matter movement.

As educators, we discovered a perception that race is what other people have, and racism is what other people are responsible for. Therefore, the lessons illustrated how one’s life is shaped within the confines of neighborhoods, schools and communities within Baltimore City. The course demonstrated how we live in a racialized society where privilege is essentially an exemption from the weighty cerebral burdens that afflict black people every day. If you are white, you do not have to deal with the impact of negative assumptions based on the color of your skin. However, if you are black, you deal with it every day. As someone has put it: white privilege doesn’t mean your life isn’t hard. It just means the color of your skin isn’t one of the things that makes it harder.

For curriculum resources and more from the Black Lives Matter Week of Action, visit