An Epiphany of Privilege: A Critical Examination of Nigrescence, White Privilege, and Critical Pedagogy

Paul D Mencke


This essay explores White privilege in relationship to Black identity development and the education of youth through juxtaposition of the author’s White privilege and his bi-racial son’s nonprivilege. Through analysis of the exhaustive, yet mandatory, search to embody the stance of a “Critical Democrat” (Warren & Hytten, 2004) the author explores his son’s life through critical pedagogy and the expanded theory of nigrescence (NT-E) providing a critical analysis of society’s oppressive structure for Black males. Further inquiry demonstrates the dominant narrative’s detrimental impact on “successful” Black youth, and how the counternarrative can unveil the unequal power dynamics in America. Only then will the education of marginalized youth become a liberating experience.


Critical pedagogy; Nigrescence; White privilege; Critical democrat

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