The Black Intellectual Tradition

Reading Freedom in Classical Literature

  • The Black Intellectual Tradition

The Black Intellectual Tradition

Reading Freedom in Classical Literature


  • Recover the Heritage, Inspire Action.

    The powerful legacy of classical education among Black intellectuals and teachers in America is a national treasure with the capacity to bless teachers and students the world over! In The Black Intellectual Tradition, authors Dr. Anika Prather and Dr. Angel Parham introduce us to readers, writers, teachers, artists, and people of action who loved, taught, and put into practice the wisdom and virtue of the great voices who came before. These Black educators and intellectuals, while living with the injustices and hardships that gave them unique insights, mined the tradition, weaving it together with their African and African American heritage to create a new narrative that would aid all people in understanding injustice and was thus integral to the fight for liberation and equality. In the process, they brought to light a wealth of truth, goodness, and beauty from within the great tradition.

    With this rich heritage increasingly lost from view, this book restores stories and experiences to us that will inform and inspire ideas for action and application within all classical schools and homeschools. Dr. Prather and Dr. Parham bring to the book two different scholarly perspectives and voices as well as their own personal experiences as classical educators, parents, and organizational leaders.

    “Rather than allowing our teaching to be enslaved to a pre-existing list [of classic and canonical writings], we can read traditional Western texts in conversation with great writings by diverse authors who help us to understand dimensions of truth, goodness, and beauty that we simply cannot access without drawing on their unique experiences and ways of being in and seeing the world. In this sense, the writings of Black intellectuals are an essential part of all of our students’ education in truth, goodness, and beauty.”

    —Dr. Angel Adams Parham

    “When we place a classic text before Black students and then ask them what they feel about the text, we are communicating that we see them, we value them, and we hold high expectations of them to engage in the Great Conversation from which their ancestors had been excluded. We become a living example of God’s universal love for all of humanity. . . . As classical educators we invite all students to share in the feast of the canon and thus communicate to them that all of our students are welcomed to the Promised Land.”

    —Dr. Anika Prather


  • Hardback

    ISBN: 9781600514425

    Pages: 272

    Dimensions: 8.5in x 11in

  • Angel Adams Parham PhD, Author

    Angel Adams Parham PhD

    Dr. Angel Adams Parham is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. Angel is the cofounder and executive director of Nyansa Classical Community, which provides curricula and programming designed to connect with students from diverse backgrounds and invites them to take part in the Great Conversation, cultivate their moral imagination, and pursue truth, goodness, and beauty. As an advocate for the renewal of classical education, Angel has addressed teachers and school leaders through the Society for Classical Learning, the Classic Learning Test, and other organizations. She works in the area of historical sociology, engaging in research and writing which examine the past in order to better understand how to live well in the present and envision wisely for the future. This research focus is rooted in her interest in reconnecting sociology to its classical roots and animated by questions such as “What is a good society?”. She is the author of American Routes: Racial Palimpsests and the Transformation of Race (Oxford, 2017). She has been a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, as well as the recipient of a Fulbright grant.

    Anika Prather PhD, Author

    Anika Prather PhD

    Dr. Anika T. Prather earned her B.A. from Howard University in elementary education as well as a Masters in liberal arts from St. John’s College (Annapolis) and a PhD in English, Theatre, and Literacy Education from the University of Maryland (College Park). Her research focus is on building literacy with African American students through engagement in the books of the Canon. She self-published her book Living in the Constellation of the Canon: The Lived Experiences of African American Students Reading Great Books Literature. She has served as a teacher, supervisor for student teachers, director of education, head of school, and a professor of Humanities in the English Department at Howard University. With her husband Damon, she founded The Living Water School, located in southern Maryland and attended by their three children. Anika is a popular speaker and has shared about classical Christian education with audiences at many organizations, including Great Hearts Academies, the Society for Classical Learning, St. John’s College, and the Classic Learning Test.

  • Expand Your Teacher Training withThe Black Intellectual TraditionClassicalU Course!

    The Black Intellectual Traditionwith Dr. Angel Adams Parham and Dr. Anika PratherThe powerful legacy of classical education among Black intellectuals and educators in America is a national treasure with the capacity to bless teachers and students the world over. This rich heritage brings to light a wealth of truth, goodness, and beauty from within the great tradition. Our two presenters guide us into this exciting and timely topic with their own unique voices and professional backgrounds, exploring both the historical and scholarly foundations as well as the stories and experiences of both current and past teachers who have been champions of this heritage, providing inspiring ideas for action and application in all classical schools.Instructional Hours: 12.90Watch Dr. Anika Prather's Introduction:A Journey Into Bringing a Classical Education to the African American CommunityWatch Dr. Angel Adams Parham's Introduction:A Journey Into Advocacy for Classical and Christian Education