We Want to Do More Than Survive

Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
Narrated by: Misty Monroe
Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (339 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2020 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award

Drawing on personal stories, research, and historical events, an esteemed educator offers a vision of educational justice inspired by the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.

Drawing on her life’s work of teaching and researching in urban schools, Bettina Love persuasively argues that educators must teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical civic initiatives and movements. She argues that the US educational system is maintained by and profits from the suffering of children of color. Instead of trying to repair a flawed system, educational reformers offer survival tactics in the forms of test-taking skills, acronyms, grit labs, and character education, which Love calls the educational survival complex.

To dismantle the educational survival complex and to achieve educational freedom - not merely reform - teachers, parents, and community leaders must approach education with the imagination, determination, boldness, and urgency of an abolitionist. Following in the tradition of activists like Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin, and Fannie Lou Hamer, We Want to Do More Than Survive introduces an alternative to traditional modes of educational reform and expands our ideas of civic engagement and intersectional justice.

©2019 Bettina Love (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A useful rejoinder, half a century on, to Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed; deserving of a broad audience among teachers and educational policymakers.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Through unflinching and daring inquiry, Dr. Bettina Love has stepped out on faith to articulate our pain, suffering, and eternal search for joy. Her words resurrect the abolitionist credo of ‘education’ over ‘school.’ Because they are two different things, the question remains: can school be the place where education happens or do we need to radically rethink what we’re doing? Dr. Love’s work suggests that if we do not choose the latter, we are complicit in our own demise.” (David Stovall, professor of African American studies and criminology, law, and justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, and co-author of Twenty-First-Century Jim Crow Schools

“This text is helpful for gaining a better grasp of oppression and what teachers can do about it.” (Library Journal)

What listeners say about We Want to Do More Than Survive

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Must read for all parents and educators

I would have preferred this to have been read by Dr. Love but I got over that. I kept stopping the book to take notes. This may be one hat is better in hard copy. A must read. As a 20 year veteran educator, there were lots of new concepts that I hadn’t thought about. Should be included in all teacher-trainer programs.

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necessary read for 2020

it might take some time to digest, but this is a necessary read for 2020

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If I could go back in time

I wish I’d had this book, this teacher, this eye and mind opening words fill my preservice education-if I could go back and recraft my undergrad and grad courses. I can’t go back, so going forward I will strive be an abolitionist teacher-friend-community member-colleague. Thank you Dr. Love.

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Loves This Book!

This book was fantastic! Made me feel better about my feelings of being a dark child/woman. I believe that ALL teachers should read this book to better educate themselves on working with dark children and dark co-workers. I have am no longer apologetic for who I am, because I have realized that this America is the blame for trying to always make whites, especially white women comfortable with the words that I speak. Now I have l speak the whole truth. They need to ask questions or they can be left in their feelings. I’m taking back my silver platter.

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Freedom Dreaming

What does it mean to thrive? Dr. Love took me on both a personal and scholarly jouney to consider the centrality of racism, the importance of POCs to "refuse victim status to unleash the brain", that joy is central to freedom and why teachers "need to be trained to question whiteness and white supremacy". In addition to this, I learned and realized a lot about myself growing up in an inner city. Thank you Dr. Love.

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Right on!

Love encourages readers to come out of survival mode and enjoy life, but makes it clear that this can only happen when we understand what life is to us...Black people in Americs.

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Insightful

A must read for EVERYONE who works with Black and Brown children. It doesn’t provide strategies, but insights and perspectives . I will read again.

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BEST DETAILED LOOK AT RACE & EDUCATION

READER WAS FANTASTIC AND FAR FROM MONOTONE. EXCELLENT RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS. EASY AND THOUGHT PROVOKING READ FOR ALL PARENTS AND TEACHERS.

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Must Read for All

This book is amazing! It truly gets to the heart of abolitionist teaching (& living). It will push you to think about white supremacy, racism and anti-racism and thriving in dark communities. All educators must read this. All people should read it.

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  • 07-17-20

This book was everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Love give a thorough breakdown of what it means to truly embody education. I will be using this as a recommended reading for this I have through pleasure of working with.