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kihana miraya ross

Assistant Professor of African American Studies

Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Studies of Education, UC Berkeley, 2016
M.A. in Social and Cultural Studies of Education, UC Berkeley, 2011
B.A. in African American Studies; Sociology; Education minor, UC Berkeley, 2002

Research Interests:

Black space in education
Antiblackness in education
Black girlhood in education
Black student experience


kihana miraya ross is an assistant professor of African American Studies. Her program of research draws on critical ethnographic and participatory design methodologies to examine the multiplicity of ways that antiblackness is lived by Black students in what she calls the afterlife of school segregation, a framework that illuminates the ways in which despite the end of legal segregation of schooling, Black students remain systematically dehumanized and positioned as uneducable. Critically, her work also explores how Black educators and students collectively imagine and resist antiblackness, and racialization processes more generally. Specifically, her conceptualization of Black educational fugitive space explores the ways Black students and educators enact educational fugitivity through the social production of Black space in the margin. She is particularly interested in the ways Black educational fugitive space manifests as both departure and refuge from the gratuitous violence of the afterlife of school segregation, and spawns the possibilities for rebirth and resistance.

Her current book project explores the ways Black girls and a Black woman educator create a fugitive space within a Black women’s studies elective class at a public high school in an urban district in Northern California. This manuscript constructs an ethnographic case study that explores both the ways Black girls experience antiblackness and hypersexualization in their larger school, and also, the numerous ways their production of Black Girl Space facilitates a reimagining of a Black girl identity and a radical Black subjectivity. This work builds on ross’ theorization of Black space in education and findings have implications for considering the ways Black educational fugitive space can serve to mitigate students’ racialized experiences and help students reimagine destructive notions of blackness in schools and in society.  

Selected Publications:

ross, k. (2021). Anti-Blackness in education and the possibilities of redress: Toward educational reparations. Amerikastudien/American Studies, 66 (1), 229-233. 

ross, k.m. (2020, October 8th). How abolition makes schools safer. Level (Medium).

ross, k.m. (2020, June 4th). Call it what it is: Anti-blackness. New York Times.

ross, k.m. (2020). On Black Education: Anti-blackness, Refusal, and Resistance in Grant, C.A., Dumas, M.J., & Woodson, A.N. (Eds.). The Future is Black: Afropressimism, Fugitivity and Radical Hope in Education. Routledge.

ross, k.m. (2020). Black space in education: (Anti)blackness in schools and the afterlife of segregation in Grant, C.A., Dumas, M.J., & Woodson, A.N. (Eds.). The Future is Black: Afropressimism, Fugitivity and Radical Hope in Education. Routledge.

ross, k.m. (2019). Revisiting BlackCrit in education: Anti-Black reality and liberatory fantasy. Center for Critical Race Studies in Education at UCLA, 17 (1), 1-4. 

Nxumalo, F. & ross, k.m. (2019). Envisioning Black space in environmental education for young children. Race Ethnicity and Education, 22(4), 502-524.

ross, k.m. (2018). Ties that bind: Forging Black girl space in the Black (male) educational “crisis” in Nasir, N., Givens, J., & Chatmon, C., (Eds.). We Dare Say Love: Supporting African American Male Achievement. Teachers College Press, Multicultural Education Series.

ross, k.m., Nasir, N., Givens, J., McKinney de Royston, M, Vakil, S., Madkins, T., & Philoxene, D. (2016). “I do this for all of the reasons America doesn’t want me to”: The Organic Pedagogies of Black Male Instructors. Equity & Excellence in Education, 49(1), 85-99

Dumas, M. J., ross, k.m. (2016). “Be Real Black For Me”: Imagining BlackCrit in education. Urban Education, 51, 415–442.

McKinney de Royston, M., Vakil, S., Nasir, N.S., ross, k.m., Givens, J., & Holman, A. (2017).  “He’s More Like a ‘Brother’ Than a Teacher”: Politicized caring in a program for African American males. Teachers College Record, 119(4), 1-40.

Givens, J., Nasir, N., ross, k.m., McKinney deRoyston, M. (2016). Modeling manhood: Reimagining Black male identities in school. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 47(2) 167-185.

Nasir, N., ross, k.m., McKinney deRoyston, M., Givens, J., & Bryant, J. (2013). Dirt on My Record: Rethinking disciplinary practices in an all-Black, all-male alternative class. Harvard Educational Review, 83(3), 489-512.

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