Denying Racism Has an Evidence Problem

radical eyes for equity

Several years before I wrote an educational biography of Lou LaBrant for my doctoral dissertation, Jeanne Gerlach and Virginia Monseau published Missing Chapters: Ten Pioneering Women in NCTE and English Education for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE, 1991).

Their important volume included a chapter on LaBrant by England and West, but the project also produced a recorded interview of LaBrant when she was 100, a gold mine for my biographical work.

Jeanne and I became good friends because of our love of English teaching, history, and the people who have created that history. But one of our frequent conversations was about a claim by LaBrant in the interview: LaBrant was adamant that during her life that spanned the 1880s into the 1990s she had never once experienced sexism.

LaBrant, Jeanne and I agreed, was so determined and assertive as a person that this claim was…

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