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Resisting the Status Quo: The Narratives of Black Homeschoolers in Metro-Atlanta and Metro-DC

Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 88, No. 3

Cheryle Fields-Smith, University of Georgia
Monica Wells Kisura
, Trinity Washington University


Trends suggest that homeschooling continues to increase among black families. Yet, research on contemporary Black homeschooling remains scarce. Given black educational history, the phenomena of Black families choosing homeschooling over public and private schools in the post-Desegregation era is worthy of investigation. Further, documenting the ways in which black homeschool families engage their children in learning will inform the needs of black education in conventional schools, public and private. The phenomenon of increasing black home education represents a radical transformative act of self-determination, the likes of which have not been witnessed since the 1960s and ‘70s. This work highlights the primacy of agency among black homeschooling families. Thus, contrary to the negative depictions of black families as disengaged from the educational pursuits of their children, we evoke hooks's (1990) notion of homeplace to argue that black home education represents a vehicle of resistance to institutionalized racism and ideological mismatches between black families and their children's educational needs.


Cheryl Fields-Smith, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Elementary Education in the College of Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. She earned her doctorate from Emory University in 2004. Her research interests include family engagement and homeschooling among Black families. Dr. Fields-Smith consults and conducts professional development workshops related to cultivating home–school partnerships among diverse communities. Dr. Fields-Smith is also a founding board member of the International Center for Home Education Research.

Monica Wells Kisura, Ph.D., has dedicated her life to advancing educational innovation, access and equity; and to building bridges of mutual understanding across cultures. Dr. Wells Kisura was named a 2005–2006 Canada–U.S. Fulbright Fellow and has conducted pioneering research at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto) among Black/African Canadian home educators living in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Wells Kisura received her B.A. in Communication from Seattle Pacific University (1988), her M.A. in International Political Economy from American University (2005), and her Ph.D. in International Relations from American University (2009). She currently teaches applied human communication courses at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC.