The Jurisprudence and Child Privacy Praxis of Black and Native-American Home Education

University of Kansas
  • Najarian Peters, Associate Professor of Law, University of Kansas, and Co-Principal Investigator, Stories for All

Project Description

The tradition of Black home education dates back to 1787, when Prince Hall petitioned the Massachusetts Legislature for a “Free Africa” school for the children of free Black families. Although Massachusetts was the first state to recognize a universal right of education and the state did not require segregation, the damaging and discriminatory treatment Black children experienced, compelled Black parents to seek separate schools. When the Massachusetts Legislature denied Hall’s request, his family opened a school for Black children in a private home. While home education was not unique to free Black Americans, they had unique and urgent concerns about the protection and the well-being of their children. For Black parents, at the founding of this country, home education was more than just a way to provide educational opportunity. It was a means to protect Black childhood from the traumas of anti-Black racial stigma.

Today, more than 200 years later, Black home educators (who engage in a variety of methods in K-12 education, such as home-schooling, un-schooling, self-directed education, and world-schooling) have some of the same concerns. Analyses of their concerns reflect deep connections to child privacy and child development. These ongoing concerns are connected to the current rise in home education within Black and Native American communities-regardless of the ebb and flow of pandemic infection rates.

This project documents the continued practice of home education by both Black and Native American parents, conceptualized through child privacy praxis and as a generative source of jurisprudence. Associate Professor of Law and privacy scholar, Najarian R. Peters designed this project based on her research that began in 2018. The findings will be made available through a digitized archive and other published works.

Partner Details

  • Najarian Peters

    Associate Professor of Law, University of Kansas, and Co-Principal Investigator, Stories for All


    Najarian R. Peters is an associate professor of law at KU and a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Her legal scholarship which focuses on privacy, racial marginality and education appeared in the Michigan Journal of Race & Law and the UCLA Law Review. Her forthcoming publications will appear in the Washington & Lee Law Review and the Seton Hall Law Review. Prior to joining the KU Law faculty, she was the Inaugural Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Law at the Institute for Privacy Protection at Seton Hall Law School. She received her J.D. from Notre Dame Law School and her BA at Xavier University of Louisiana.