• Tanetha J. Grosland University of South Florida
  • Cheryl E. Matias University of Colorado Denver


emotions, antiracist, adult education, professional development, human resource development, curriculum leadership, educational leadership, urban education, higher education


The emotionality of race in education calls for continual pedagogical reconceptualizations that specifically address emotion. As such, the purpose of this paper is to inform and expand pedagogies related to educational equity in the context of emotionally­ charged race conversations in post­secondary education classrooms. We do this by first putting forth some theoretical claims about emotions within education and racial literacy. We then share our findings from our study of a job ­embedded professional-practice graduate course for full­-time practicing educators, a course on educational equity called “Culturally Responsive Classroom Management.” We discovered two types of experiential narratives: pity and emotional negativity toward racially-minoritized children. We also found evidence that educational leaders burdened their racially-minoritized colleagues by showing emotional negativity toward the Black/African American children they served. Thus, we asked: can someone who has pity and emotional negativity about race have the competence or “fervent fortitude” needed to address racial inequality and the emotions it promulgates? Such a question is crucial in our complicated world, but the implications lie in a two­fold approach that involves engaging both emotions and racial literacy curricularly.

Author Biographies

Tanetha J. Grosland, University of South Florida

Tanetha J. Grosland is an assistant professor of urban education leadership in the Department of Advanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy, Morgan State University. Her interests focus on classroom emotions and the implications for antioppressive and critical pedagogies.

Cheryl E. Matias, University of Colorado Denver

Cheryl E. Matias is an assistant professor in the urban community teacher education, urban ecologies, and educational foundations programs. Her research is on race and ethnic studies in education with a theoretical focus on critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, critical pedagogy and feminism of color.