Black Teachers on Teaching

A candid and eye-opening look at what desegregation has actually meant for students—with lessons for today—from the teachers who were on the front lines of integration

“A riveting portrait of the American century's inequality in education . . . with an eye not only to what was gained but what was lost.” —Education Week

Black Teachers on Teaching is an honest and compelling account of the politics and philosophies involved in the education of Black children during the second half of the twentieth century. Michele Foster collects wisdom from those who were the first to teach in desegregated southern schools and from others who taught in large urban districts, such as Boston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

All go on record about the losses and gains accompanying desegregation, the inspirations and rewards of teaching, and what they saw as the challenges of the future. This is an essential capsule into the mindsets of Black teachers as we entered the twenty-first century, with relevant lessons for readers today. If there is one lesson to be taken from Black Teachers on Teaching, it is that Black teachers have always been, and remain, a vital part of our nation’s educational system.


“A balanced debate on the pros and cons of integration and its impact on the education of African American children.”
“A must-read. . . . A tribute to unsung dreamkeepers, and a guide for those who look beyond the statistics for pieces of crystal.”
“Foster lets teachers tell their stories, and their words are moving . . . powerful, and true.”
Teacher Magazine

Goodreads Reviews