The #BlackLivesMatter movement has opened up conversations in schools across the country about systemic racism, a “new” civil rights movement, and the treatment of children of color. In this article, a veteran elementary teacher uses the #BlackLivesMatter movement to help her students see the power of mathematics in their own lives, taking care to first connect with her school community so as not to incite trauma. Using an age-appropriate activity to investigate the feelings of anger felt by the Black community of Ferguson County, Missouri, shortly before the police murdered Michael Brown, we construct a conversation on what elementary mathematics learning looks like when framed around the guiding principles of #BlackLivesMatter. By utilizing and exploring the mathematics behind who gets into Peace Park, children connect various ways of recognizing inequity with mathematical observations, using mathematics as a tool to perceive and confront oppression.
Marlowe, M. M.
Elementary Mathematics and #BlackLivesMatter.
Occasional Paper Series,