Retelling education in emergencies through the black radical tradition: on racial capitalism, critical race theory and fugitivity

This article asserts that the Black Radical Tradition (BRT), grounded in historical and structural inquiry, offers tools to reinterpret EiE radically— the BRT encompasses a tradition rooted in diverse African intellectual and activist inquiries, providing a multifaceted theoretical framework. Relevant to humanitarian scholarship, the BRT challenges omissions of colonisation, capitalism, and enslavement histories in forced migration and aid, shedding light on their roles in perpetuating ‘white saviours’. The paper, adopting my roles as a scholar and aid practitioner, critically examines the EiE sector through three BRT lenses: racial capitalism, critical race theory, and fugitivity. It employs case studies, aligning with the BRT’s interconnected focus, revealing the pervasive influence of educational aid, racial injustice, and structural inequalities. These lenses collectively illuminate the potential of Black radical thought to transform the EiE landscape. By tracing EiE’s genealogies through Black radical historiography, the article advocates for sector-wide introspection, emphasising power redistribution, centring marginalised voices, and challenging prevailing hierarchies in humanitarian contexts. 

Resource Info

Resource Type

Journal Article


Published by

Globalisation, Societies and Education

Authored by

Jessica Oddy


Anti-racism and Decoloniality
Humanitarian Sectors - Education