Enclosure in the original sense refers to breaking up common land into private segments and forms the underlying logic of capitalist exploitation. In this essay series, I consider wider interpretations of enclosure, starting with land, but moving to the body, community, time and space, knowledge, experience, learning and labor, and how schools in particular reproduce the enclosures found in the greater society. It is through this lens of enclosure that I advance my own definition of abolition, not merely of schools, but as a universal praxis.

Part I examines how schooling in the United States has always been an engine of state domination and control, from its origins in the assimilation of Native Americans and the indoctrination of Black people into the institution of slavery, through industrial and boarding schools, and into the present reality of resource deprivation, cultural annihilation, social engineering, surveillance, and carceral control. Part II discusses how at every historical juncture, people and communities have resisted enclosure, particularly Black and Indigenous peoples, where they resist and refuse the incursions of a settler colonial, white supremacist, capitalist, heteropatriarchy.

Part III builds on that continuum of Black, Brown, and Indigenous wisdom and freedom dreaming, to distill and synthesize a “Red, Black, and Green ecology”, from which I sketch the initial contours of an abolitionist framework for community education and organizing. It imagines participatory action research (PAR), land-based learning, and collective narrative building as tools for reimagining the ways people can engage with each other across divides of race, gender, class, generation, and other enclosures, in the co-construction of knowledge, shared struggle, mutual support, and building community, all toward a vision of collective liberation.

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