Black Family Homeschool Educators & Scholars (BFHES)
Black Family Homeschool Educators and Scholars (BFHES), LLC was started in April 2020 by Black homeschool researchers Dr. Khadijah Ali-Coleman and Dr. Cheryl Fields-Smith. In 2020, Dr. Khadijah Ali-Coleman had just finished defending her doctoral dissertation on dual enrolled African American homeschooled students and their perceptions of preparedness for community college. The COVID-19 global pandemic and quarantine had just gone into effect. She was offered an opportunity to publish her dissertation into a book. She opted to edit an anthology of voices on Black homeschooling instead. During her own research study, she had seen the lack of Black voices in the research on Black homeschooling families. As a homeschooling mother and researcher, she wanted to expand the research literature and offer an opportunity for other homeschooling parents and researchers to share their experiences and research. She reached out to three university researchers to see if they were interested in serving as a co-editor of the book project and Dr. Cheryl Fields-Smith was the researcher to respond with interest. The two discussed ways to connect their research to practicing home educators and that led to creating the Black Family Homeschool Educators and Scholars Virtual Teach-In.
In summer 2020, Dr. Ali-Coleman produced the inaugural BFHES Virtual Teach-In, featuring over 20 speakers and attracting over 200 participants for a seven day event. In tandem with this event, BFHES coordinated a call for submissions for our book, Homeschooling Black Children in the US: Theory, Practice & Popular Culture. We selected over 12 authors who have contributed a compelling chapter each for this publication (the book was released in 2022). In September 2020, the BFHES organization became the editorial team managing the Information Age Publishing series, Contemporary Perspectives on Black Homeschooling. Our book, Homeschooling Black Children in the US: Theory, Practice & Popular Culture, will be the first book published in the series.
Dr. Ali-Coleman and Dr. Fields-Smith parted ways in late 2021 and Dr. Ali-Coleman is currently the sole owner and managing director of the organization. The company is formally registered in Maryland although our content and activities reach and serve a national audience. BFHES is a pioneering educational research group that integrates research and community practice through the publication of scholarly work and engagement of homeschool practitioners.
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BFHES continues to engage with our community through our podcast titled, Contemporary Perspectives on Black Homeschooling and maintaining a burgeoning community of homeschool educators via Facebook. As of this writing, the group has surpassed 3000 members since its start in July 2020.
Our mission in 2020 was to provide ongoing community engagement regarding black homeschooling through (1) the publication of scholarly and trade work on the topic, and (2) the production of community events targeting black homeschool familites and entrepreneurs engaged in the practice of black homeschooling. Since January 2022, our strategic goals have pivoted, focusing on training Black parents on homeschooling best practices andyouth development theory, connecting them with resources and opportunities to optimize their homeschooling practice.
BFHES is the first US-based research and education group dedicated specifically to the topic of black family homeschooling.
Dr. Ali-Coleman (right) and her daughter who is currently an undergraduate college student in California, formerly homeschooled
Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman, Ed.D.Director of Black Family Homeschool Educators & Scholars (BFHES)
Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman, Ed.D. is a Maryland-based educator who graduated her daughter from their homeschool in 2021. She is a cultural curator, media professional, community organizer, nationally recognized speaker, and writer. She is founder of Liberated Muse Arts Group, executive director of the Hurston/Wright Foundation and a lecturer in the English department at the University of Maryland. She maintains the youth development blog, So Our Youth Aspire (SOYA).
Dr. Ali-Coleman's work centers the social and political life experiences, history, and culture of the people of the African diaspora. She is author of the children's book Mariah's Maracas and has poetry and short stories in numerous books, including The Fire Inside: Poems and Stories from Zora's Den. Her academic work has been published in The Journal of Higher Education Politics & Economics, and the book Afrofuturism in Black Panther: Gender, Identity and the Remaking of Blackness. Her journalistic bylines have appeared in more than a dozen publications, including Ebony, Romper, The Grade, The Washington Informer and The Afro. She has been quoted in the media as a homeschooling expert, interviewed by Slate, Wired, The Washington Post, NBC and more. She is co-editor of the book Homeschooling Black Children in the US: Theory, Practice and Popular Culture.
Dr. Ali-Coleman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (African American Studies and Mass Media) and a minor in Writing from the University of Maryland Baltimore, County; a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Towson University and a doctorate in education from Morgan State University in Higher Education/Community College Leadership. Her dissertation research study was titled, Dual Enrolled African American Homeschooled Students' Perceptions of Preparedness for Community College. Learn more by visiting her website.