Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in EQUITY & EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION, 47(3), 289–304, 2014


© University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Education


Critical Race Theory (CRT) revolutionized how we investigate race in education. Centralizing counter stories from people of color becomes essential for decentralizing white normative discourse—a process we refer to as realities within the Black imagination .Yet, few studies examine how whites respond to centering the Black imagination, especially since their white imagination goes unrecognized. We propose utilizing Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) to support CRT to aid in deconstructing the dimensions of white imaginations. Our findings describe how the white imagination operates inside the minds of white teacher candidates, namely through their (a) emotional disinvestment, (b) lack of critical understanding of race, (c) resurgence of white guilt, and (d) recycling of hegemonic whiteness, all of which negatively impact their role in anti-racist teaching in urban schools.