•  
  •  
 

Abstract

In this paper, I explore the pairing of the concepts of fictive kinship and agency in order to explore racial identity narratives of the Black American art teacher. Expanding on the anthropological concept of fictive kinship, where bonds of connectedness between people help to shape selfhood, I consider the powerful impact that visual culture has on shaping identity narratives and the professional aspirations of Black American art teachers. I identify fictive kinship connections as salient in creating spaces which affect agency in the conceptualization and achievement of the self as an artist. I further use the concept of fictive kinship to highlight distinct intersections between the personal and the visual and use interview quotes to trace moments in the lives of three secondary Black art teachers where these bonds have impacted their decision to fully embrace an artist identity. I include implications for art education and how we might begin to think critically so we are able to transform the experiences of our students, helping them advance their aspirational pursuits.