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Senior Award Winner

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Nirel JonesMitchellFollow


Top researchers in the field of intimacy education signify that definitions of intimate connection— referring to a deep relationship with oneself, immediate circle, or humankind, more broadly—are identity dependent. Different countries and racial demographics, thus, conceptualize notions of solidarity, interdependence, and self-awareness distinctly. Without investigation, these discrepancies provoke division; attention, alternatively, has the power to induce the mitigation of educational achievement gaps in Latin America and domestically. Cuban notions of ‘legitimate’ relationships are contextualized by the political philosopher Jose Martí who delineated an ideological framework encouraging collectivism. This idea undergirds his contribution to the revolutionary Cuban literacy campaign: dialogical education. Despite Westernized exclusionary notions of what constitutes ‘legitimate’ political philosophy and reliable data, modern cultural theorists affirm that both African American and Afro Cuban understandings of intimacy are correlated, impacted by Ptahhotep: a political philosopher from KMT (“ancient Egypt”). His conceptualization of ‘proper’ teacher-student dynamics esteems intergenerational interdependence in the pursuit of societal harmony and cultural sustainability. The following analysis, through theoretical explorations of intimacy, attempts to articulate how teacher-student love can liberate the brain from fear which allows for student creativity, induces mutual joy, and encourages the introspection critical to the eradication of American racial crises.

Key Words: Jose Martí, intimacy, political theory, education, African American/Afro Cuban

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