This essay has been structured for both the spoken and written word; for public performance as well as academic publication. It takes the form of an imagined dialogue between author, playwright, gay, black civil rights activist James Baldwin and white, working-class, academic, and educational social-activist Diane Reay. Much of the text draws from two primary sources ‘The price of the ticket’ (Baldwin, 1985) and ‘Miseducation’ (Reay, 2018). For the purpose of clarity and dramatic flow the text has been edited but the core meaning and intention of Baldwin and Reay remain the same.
The arguments and ideas of Baldwin and Reay are used to explore the notion whether nation-states have, over time, developed educational and social systems and cities for the purpose of epistemicide and control. If so then can we, as a global community, learn from the lessons of the past and create a more humane society for the future? Is social advancement and modernity a myth designed to control the poor and working classes; appease the middle classes and maintain the power and wealth of the upper classes? (Chomsky, n.d.; Kipfer, 2007; Reay, 2018) Can we transcend the visible and invisible borders of fear, difference and elitism? (Antonio A. Santucci & Lelio La Porta, 2010; Digeser, 2015; Hobbes et al., 2014; Mayblin, 2017; Parnell & Robinson, 2012)