by Monique Couvson (formerly Monique W. Morris)
The New Press
A groundbreaking and visionary call to action on educating and supporting girls of color, from the highly acclaimed author of Pushout
Wise Black women have known for centuries that the blues have been a platform for truth-telling, an underground musical railroad to survival, and an essential form of resistance, healing, and learning. In this "powerful call to action" (Rethinking Schools), leading advocate Monique W. Morris invokes the spirit of the blues to articulate a radically healing and empowering pedagogy for Black and Brown girls. Morris describes with candor and love what it looks like to meet the complex needs of girls on the margins.
Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues is a "vital, generous, and sensitively reasoned argument for how we might transform American schools to better educate Black and Brown girls" (San Francisco Chronicle). Morris brings together research and real life in this chorus of interviews, case studies, and the testimonies of remarkable people who work successfully with girls of color. The result is this radiant guide to moving away from punishment, trauma, and discrimination toward safety, justice, and genuine community in our schools.
"Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues is a brilliant and beautiful book. Drawing on rigorous scholarly analysis and deep engagement with the narratives of educational stakeholders, Morris articulates a lucid and audacious freedom dream for Black girls. Like an African rhythm, the book speaks to our souls and our feet, daring us to reimagine the world and demanding that we radically reshape our policy and practice. Like the blues, Morris's writing is compelling, honest, and raw, but brimming with hope. Anyone interested in the lives of Black girls must read, recommend, share, study, and teach this text!" -- Marc Lamont Hill, BET correspondent and author of We Still Here
"Not many, if any, books detail how to uplift and he+al Black and Brown girls in real time in ways that are loving, focused on thriving, and practical, but Monique W. Morris has done it. Through rich and vivid storytelling backed by data and research, Morris gives us a pedagogical road map to our own humanity as educators by way of empowering Black and Brown girls. Each chapter helps the reader find their song, so they can sing a rhythm for our girls." -- Bettina L. Love, author of We Want to Do More Than Survive
"With Pushout, Monique Morris brought the world to its knees and widened our eyes to see how systems have been designed to wrong our most vulnerable and brilliant young people. In Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues, she takes us on a deeper journey and offers us a way to reimagine schools and a path towards real solutions." -- Christopher Emdin, author of For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood
About the Author:
Monique Couvson (formerly Monique W. Morris), president/CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color and co-founder of the National Black Women's Justice Institute, is the author of several books, including Pushout; Black Stats; Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues; Cultivating Joyful Learning Spaces for Black Girls: Insights Into Interrupting School Pushout; Charisma's Turn. Her work has been featured by NPR, the New York Times, MSNBC, Essence, The Atlantic, TED, the Washington Post, Education Week, and others. She lives in New York.