The role of racial literacy in US K-12 education research: a review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The pursuit of racial justice in education continues to demand research that employs critical race theory (CRT). Underscoring the importance of such scholarship, this review of K-12 literature examines the trend of racial literacy in educational research. Using an interactive and recursive systematic review of research, this paper ultimately analyzed 22 peer-reviewed articles that employed racial literacy as a theory and/or method–many connected to CRT–for the possibilities they offered in upending racial liberalism in K-12 teaching and schooling. In this review, racial literacy was categorized into themes: as a process, as disrupting white supremacy and internalized racism, and as working toward curricular transformation, intersectional analysis, and centering youth voice. We conclude by discussing ways that racial literacy research can continue to work within and beyond the academy to disrupt racial liberalism and work toward anti-racist transformation in K-12 education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-111
Number of pages18
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Curriculum
  • K-12 education
  • Racial literacy
  • Teacher education
  • racial liberalism


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of racial literacy in US K-12 education research: a review of the literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this