#TeacherBae: Defining the Black Female Educator's Body and their Place in Education

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Abstract Summary
Patrice Brown, a curvy paraprofessional and rising Internet celebrity known as #TeacherBae, emerged in September 2016. She was both praised and chastised for her figure and her form fitting work attire. Pop culture articles about #TeacherBae opened a larger conversation about Black women’s bodies and oversexualization. My goal is to extend the dialogue past Patrice Brown and her body to analyze why the sexualization of teachers’ bodies, especially those of Black women, are represented as a threat to the profession and to the education of children. This will be answered by first retracing forty years of the Black woman as a teacher in film. This presentation will use analyses by film and feminist scholars and semiotics to uncover the stereotyping and ideological constraints Black female teachers experience. I advocate for expanding the representation of the Black teacher beyond the categories of scandalous or saintly. This research is draws on criticisms of the ‘White Savior Complex’ and respectability politics.
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