In the government, media, and public mind the relationship between 'race' and education is overwhelmingly negative. In Britain when we talk of 'black and ethnic minorities in schools' we think of underachievement, rising exclusions and low aspirations. However, research evidence shows racialised people, particularly the women, have a positive and enduring relationship with education. Drawing on historical, archival, personal and research evidence, this article, which is drawn for the text of an inaugural professorial lecture, looks at the pervasive myths behind the link between 'race and education' and asks, "Why is there a crisis in 'multicultural education' in 21st Century Britain?" The author argues that by understanding the black and Asian collective desire for education, we can begin to reclaim the meaning of education, reinstating it as a radical site of resistance and refutation, so evident in the postcolonial experience
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