A Black mother’s counterstory to the Brown–White binary in dual language education: toward disrupting dual language as White property


Inclusive Education

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There is a rich body of Dual Language (DL) research documenting, primarily, how Latinx students are marginalized in DL programs for the benefit of White students. We refer to this as the Brown–White binary, in which race relations are over-simplified between two racial groups to the exclusion of nuance of other racial categories. This is similar to the ways race relations have often been oversimplified in the United States (U.S.), due to its earlier histories of understanding race through a Black–White binary. In this article, we present Critical Race Theory counterstory research by considering how racialized inequality is perceived and lived from one Black mother in a Southeastern U.S. DL program in a Title I elementary school. Through two years of co-participative storying with this highly engaged African American DL parent/co-author—who also served at the time as the school’s parent-teacher association (PTA) president—we demonstrate a case of how Black families may also be marginalized in U.S. DL programs by White parents, teachers, and administrators. Three overarching themes/processes relating to both neighborhood and metaphorical gentrification of DL emerged for this Black DL PTA president. First, Whiteness was enacted as a property right by other parents in the PTA; resulting in racial battle fatigue, the second theme. Blanton ultimately found forms of resistance and self-care to navigate the physical and discursive gentrification in her school and PTA, the final theme in this research. We also provide recommendations for schools and districts to actively work to promote equity through DL, instead of for the defaulting benefit of White accrual of property.

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Language Policy

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