A Pedagogy of Marronage: Afrocolombians and Ethno-education Open Access

Navarrete Ramirez, Angel (Spring 2023)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/2514nm78z?locale=en


This paper investigates the potential of education. Through a historical and theoretical critique of Colombian ethno-education, I examine the disparity between education that serves the state as an anti-Black institution and the ways Afrocolombians themselves have practiced education as a form of political resistance and liberation. Ethno-education, meaning formal education that acknowledges and incorporates the beliefs, traditions, and knowledge of ethnic minorities, was created and institutionalized as part of a series of multicultural legislative reforms passed in Colombia in the 1990s. These reforms aimed to expand Colombian politics, identity, and society to include all ethnic minorities within the country, effectively putting an end to discrimination and racism. However, I argue that because ethno-education’s ultimate goal is reaffirming nationalism, it will inevitably recreate the problems it seeks to address. Instead, only an education without ties to the state can challenge anti-Blackness. As such, I outline how Black radical thought and Afrocolombian history contribute to a pedagogy of marronage. This pedagogy, which has existed within Afrocolombian groups for far longer than any multicultural reform, was created despite anti-Black oppression and as such it acts as a guide to refusing the world. A pedagogy of marronage does not aim to acclimate or appeal to oppressive structures of the state, humanity, or the world. Rather, it puts each of us in the most genuine and relentless service of one another. Though I use Colombia as an example, this pedagogy has existed and can exist wherever there is a commitment to Blackness. By following a pedagogy of marronage into the otherwise, we can begin to conceptualize new and numerous subjectivities. 

Table of Contents

1) Introduction

2) Chapter 1. Colombian Ethno-education and a History of Anti-Blackness

3) Chapter 2. A Pedagogy of Marronage: Withdrawing into Liberation

4) Conclusion

5) Bibliography

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