Reauthoring Savage Inequalities

Narratives of Community Cultural Wealth in Urban Educational Environments

Expected to ship: 2023-04-01

Alternative formats available from:

Offers rich, wide-ranging counternarratives to social, political, and educational discourses that characterize urban schools and communities as places of despair, revealing the resources and strategies of resistance that teachers, students, and families use to succeed and thrive.


Reauthoring Savage Inequalities brings together scholars, educators, practitioners, and students to counter dominant narratives of urban educational environments. Using a community cultural wealth lens, contributors center the strategies, actions, and ways of knowing communities of color use to resist systemic oppression. So often, discussions of urban schooling are filled with stories of what Jonathan Kozol famously referred to as "savage inequalities" in his 1991 book of the same title—with tales of deficiency and despair. The counternarratives in this volume grapple with the inequalities highlighted by Kozol. Yet, in foregrounding lived experiences of educating and being educated in schools and communities that were systemically isolated and disenfranchised then and continue to be thirty years later, Reauthoring Savage Inequalities brings nuance to depictions of teaching and learning in urban areas. In nineteen essays, as well as commentaries, a foreword, and an afterword, contributors engage readers in critical dialogue about the importance of community cultural wealth. They identify the sources of support that enable students, staff, parents, and community members to succeed and thrive despite the purposeful divestment in communities of color across this nation's cities.

Lori D. Patton is Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs and Chair for the Department of Educational Studies at The Ohio State University. Ishwanzya D. Rivers is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development at the University of Louisville. Raquel L. Farmer-Hinton is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Joi D. Lewis is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joi Unlimited and the Founder and President of Healing Justice Foundation.


"Reauthoring Savage Inequalities is groundbreaking, timely, and exquisite. It is both a response to Kozol's scholarship and a call to do research differently. In Savage Inequalities, Kozol exposes a particular deficit-driven narrative that plagues urban education. It depicts hopelessness and victimization. But what happens when insiders shape our understanding of education, oppression, and liberation? A fuller, richer, more complicated rendering begins to emerge. This edited volume draws us away from the narrow gaze of white interlocutors and exposes the fragility of scholarship saturated with whiteness and Eurocentricity. Reauthoring Savage Inequalities is what research becomes when you don't merely study the community but serves its people. When you are them and they are you. This kind of kinship leads us to grander validity and deeper answers—not merely in our findings related to urban education but in our work as human beings." — Vajra M. Watson, author of Transformative Schooling: Towards Racial Equity in Education