There were two standing ovations for Gloria J. Ladson- Billings on Thursday night and both deserved. Ladson-Billings was this year’s AERA Brown Lecturer, an event that was started in 2004 at the 50th Anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Ladson-Billings presented the theories of educational researchers and compared their take on race in education to the actualities of what happens today.
While there were many great points to the lecture, the Ladson-Billings talk began in a way that seemed to resonate with the crowd. Ladson-Billings gave an example of a woman who was classified as “mulatto” in the 1920 census, and “negro” 10 years later. What changed her race over time? Ladson-Billings explained that in 1920, the woman was known to be able to read and write. Education had elevated her status in the community. Even more poignant was that the woman was Ladson-Billings’s grandmother.
Check out the full lecture here in a few days (in the mean time, you can check out the previous lectures). SAGE is proud to be a friend of the AERA lecture and happy to support such great research being presented to the public. This year was the most successful event yet with more than 700 people listening to Gloria Ladson-Billings. Congratulations, AERA!