Understanding the Black Flame and Multigenerational Education Trauma: Toward a theory of the dehumanization of Black students

Unlike any text to date, this revolutionary study surveys Black research and literature to determine the processes formal education uses to dehumanize Black students. This is a socio-historical analysis of the Black Flame trilogy (BFT), W. E. B. Du Bois’s unparalleled, thirty-year study of Atlanta, Georgia from Black Reconstruction (1860 – 1880) to 1956. These ground-breaking novels establish racialization, colonization, and globalization as processes that continue to dehumanize Black students in education. Africana critical theory (ACT), critical race theory (CRT), and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS) privilege the research, voice, and experiences of Blacks. These theoretical frames speak to the pain and the impact of unchecked, gross, voyeuristic violence that helps define the White supremacist patriarchal culture in which we live.

Straight forward and direct, this work shows how the processes of dehumanization contribute to the legacy of trauma White supremacy exacts upon Black people and their humanity. This study is aimed at highlighting the stark disparities in Black and White education over times. It offers a candid look into the myth of Black inferiority and the metaphor of the achievement gap describe conscious economic deprivation, mob violence and intimidation, and White supremacist curricula, yet continues to imply long-standing cultural notion of Blacks intellectual inferiority. This research is offered to help mitigate the multigenerational education trauma Blacks have experienced since Reconstruction to envision a educational system that is efficacious and socially just in the distribution of resources, expanding diversity in curricula, and exposing pedagogical biases that traumatize not only Black people but all people.