Homeschooling and Race: A Call for Stories

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By R.L. Stollar (HA Community Coordinator) and Lauren Dueck (HARO Board Chair)

For our next open series, Homeschoolers Anonymous is inviting current and former homeschool students to talk about their experiences of race, racial identity, and racism, whether blatant or subtle. As the Christian Homeschool Movement tends to be dominated by white voices, we aim to give the floor first and foremost to people of color in this series. We want to elevate their voices and hear their stories.

Old-school racism has thrived in homeschooling institutions. For example, Bob Jones University (creators of BJU Press homeschool curriculum) banned interracial dating on campus until the 2000’s, and their curricula taught that racial categories came from Ham’s sin. Many homeschooling communities featured constant debates about the Civil War and the morality of slavery. As a person of color: how did these messages impact you? What was it like existing in the Christian Homeschool Movement? Did you feel welcomed? Harassed? How did your families engage similarly or differently in Christian Homeschool culture because of your ethnic identity? What words of advice do you have for other people of color going through the homeschooling world now? What suggestions or pleas do you have for current homeschoolers to address the realities of race and racism in their own communities?

We will also welcome submissions from white homeschool alumni. What messages did you receive about people of color from your homeschooling curriculums and communities? What moments of racism did you observe? What was the process by which you are coming to understand your racial identity? How do you wrestle with white privilege? How would you encourage other homeschool alumni — and current homeschoolers — to face that privilege in their daily lives?

Also welcome are critical analyses of different homeschool leaders and homeschool texts about race and racism. For example, numerous Vision Forum publications are noted for their overt racism and certain white supremacy movements — like Christian Identity — are ardent fans of homeschooling. Potential questions to explore could include: Is there a connection between patriarchy and racism? Why are homeschooling communities historically overwhelmingly white? How do the dominant culture and politics of the Christian Homeschooling Movement reinforce (or ameliorate) racism and racialization? What is the relationship between racial privilege and economic privilege within the context of homeschooling? We would love to receive historical, sociological, or political pieces on such leaders, texts, movements, and questions for this series.

* Deadline for “Homeschooling and Race” submissions: Friday, August 29, 2014. *

Please put “For Homeschooling and Race” as the title of the email.

As always, you can contribute anonymously or publicly.

If you interested in participating in this series, please email us at homeschoolersanonymous@gmail.com.

3 comments

  • Tried the email however it says it is not working currently.

  • I never identified with being “African American” (I still don’t appreciate the term. I’m just American, thank you very much :-P) I think this was due largely to being raised in the predominantly Caucasian homeschooling community. I personally don’t remember experiencing a lot of direct racial issues (direct being the key word there. I think a lot went over my head as a child). My dad however talked about applying to Bob Jones for college and being refused because he was black. The part that never added up for me was that I think he would have preferred to go to a similar college, maybe even Bob Jones if I hadn’t been so adamantly against it. He would have preferred it because of the extreme Christian philosophy, especially because of their gender separation policy & more extreme rules for females. And I think the fact that even though I wouldn’t be in his household, my life would still be controlled by another patriarchal type authority. It always seemed odd to me that those things seemingly overrided the discrimination he experienced himself.

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