Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

First Advisor

Dr. Denisha Jones

Second Advisor

Jerusha Beckerman


This thesis argues that play-centered, abolitionist classrooms are necessary so that all students can thrive. The current American education system disproportionately harms Black students and is inextricably linked to the Prison Industrial Complex. Abolitionist teaching calls for the tearing down of systems of oppression and the creation of new spaces and institutions that center Black joy. Play is abolition because through play, children develop an awareness of the possibility and the right of freedom. This work outlines the necessity of abolition and the importance of play, followed by examples of play as abolition, and concludes with a vision for my own future classroom.